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Tag: #breachoffiduciaryduty

What is Aiding and Abetting a Breach of Fiduciary Duty?

In the News Oct 11, 2021
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Lots of trust beneficiaries know that you can sue your Florida trustee for breach of trust. But can you sue the trustee’s lawyers too? How about those that assist a trustee in doing bad things? A recent appellate opinion discusses what is aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty. We have written about this topic before. To learn more, click HERE, and keep reading. Getting the Background: what it’s like to be trustee in the State of Florida Lots of family members and trust beneficiaries take issue with their trustee. Whether or not trustee criticism is justified depends on your case. And your trust. And your attitude. Candidly, not every trustee is necessarily bad. And a lot of beneficiaries don’t like the idea of asking a trustee for money. Let’s face it: most people want their inheritance “outright“….and not in a trust. But being a trustee is serious business. A Florida trustee is managing property of another for beneficiaries. She is a fiduciary who is supposed to place the interests of her beneficiaries above everyone else’s–including her own. And, in fairness to trust beneficiaries, the Florida trustee has a lot of duties they owe to beneficiaries. It’s all in the Florida Trust Code. Trustees are actually not required to serve as trustee. You can decline. Just because you are named in a trust document does not mean you have to be the trustee. Now, let’s get back to those duties a trustee owes its beneficiaries. If you breach, or […]


Florida Breach of Fiduciary Duty

FAQs Apr 15, 2021
post about Florida Breach of Fiduciary Duty

A Florida breach of fiduciary duty is serious stuff. It can bring damages to beneficiaries or an estate or a trust. And a whole lot of trouble to a bad trustee or personal representative or POA. We have previously written about excessive compensation and removing or suspending a trustee. We have also written about this topic of FIDUCIARY DUTY before. Now, let’s lay it all out there in plain English. And from a standpoint that other Florida Legal Blogs may not take . What is a Fiduciary? Before we define Florida Breach of Fiduciary Duty, let’s make sure you have the background. First, a trustee owes DUTIES to her beneficiaries. Same for a PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE. Trustees and personal representatives are fiduciaries. Fiduciaries are those who volunteer to perform certain tasks for others. I say “volunteer” because no one can be forced to serve others or be a fiduciary. Even if you are nominated or named in a will or trust. If you don’t want to serve, decline. Fiduciaries, most of the time, are entitled to reasonable compensation. A Power of Attorney, also called an attorney-in-fact, is also a fiduciary. Don’t be confused. Even though the Power of Attorney Law uses the word “agent”, a POA is a fiduciary. Standards of a Fiduciary There are certain “rules of the game.” Standards. If a personal representative or trustee acts badly or steals money or takes secret fees, they can be SURCHARGED. But civil theft is not necessary for a fiduciary to be […]


Florida Breach of Trust– what is it

What We Do Apr 6, 2021
post about Florida Breach of Trust– what is it

If you are a trustee or beneficiary of a Florida Trust, you have probably heard the words “breach of trust.” But what really is a Florida Breach of Trust? Well, we are going to answer that question in plain-English. We have previously provided FREE LEGAL TRUST COMMENTARY about breach of fiduciary duty, SUSPENDING A FLORIDA TRUSTEE and also REMOVING a Florida Trustee. Let’s explore this trust concept for Florida beneficiaries and trustees. Florida Trust Law The Florida Trust Code is a set of statutes. Chapter 736 will tell you “all” you need to know ’bout trusts in Fla. You can read it for free. Trustees may want to know about DEFENDING a breach lawsuit. The truth is that a breach of trust is a breach of fiduciary duty. To read a case which DEFINES what a breach of fiduciary duty is, CLICK HERE. This case also reveals that a breach of fiduciary duty action is different from a claim to an accounting. Trustees owe their beneficiaries lots of DUTIES. When a trustee falls short or “breaks” those duties, that’s a breach. When a trustee falls below the standard of care of a reasonable trustee, she can be liable to the trust for DAMAGES. Trust beneficiaries can click HERE to learn what remedies they have against their trustee. Here is a LIST of all the duties your trustee owes you. Trust Caselaw Appellate opinions are referred to as “caselaw.” Appellate courts review trial court orders. In Florida, most trials involving a […]


Aiding and Abetting Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Florida

Probate Information Mar 25, 2021
post about Aiding and Abetting Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Florida

If someone helped a fiduciary breach their fiduciary duty, is that someone responsible, too? A March 24, 2021 appeal from Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal discusses aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty in Florida. We have previously commented on Breach of Fiduciary Duty under Florida law. Now, let’s consider this new case. Miami Dade Appeals Court Decision The Miami Dade Appeals Court, the 3rd DCA, issued its opinion in Grape Leaf Capital, Inc. v. Lafontant. In that case, a Personal Representative of a Florida estate was alleged to have received a loan. The “executor” was alleged to have entered into a loan agreement in exchange for proceeds to be recovered from a wrongful death case. In Florida, a wrongful death case is brought on behalf of the estate. The court-appointed Personal Representative of the Florida Probate is the plaintiff. (For a September 15, 2021 4th District Court of Appeal opinion involving this legal topic, click HERE.) Miami Dade Probate In this recent appeal case, some lawyers were alleged to have “substantially assisted” the personal representative breaching her fiduciary duty. A breach of fiduciary duty exists when you have the following. A duty owed to someone, a breach of a duty that causes damage. So, what does aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty mean? A cause of action, or lawsuit, for aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty is comprised of 4 things or elements. First, you need to have a fiduciary duty. Second, a […]