How does beneficiary abuse occur?


When you are the beneficiary of a will or a trust, you are reliant on certain individuals to distribute your rightful property as directed by the will-maker or trust settlor. Such individuals are referred to as “fiduciaries,” and may include the following:


  • Trustees

  • Conservators

  • Executors


Fiduciaries have a strict legal duty to act with the utmost of care when handling the money of another and when conducting their duties. Fiduciaries also have a duty of loyalty to any relevant beneficiaries. If a fiduciary fails to meet these high standards of care and loyalty, any affected beneficiaries should be able to recover losses they suffered as a result.


Some instances of beneficiary abuse occur because a fiduciary deliberately ignores his duties to distribute assets or property or mismanages the funds of which he is put in charge. However, not all beneficiary abuse is purposeful.


There any many situations in which an executor of a will or a trustee does not fully understand the legal duties and obligations of their position. Many people may agree to take on these important positions and not realize the full impact of their responsibilities.


Even if the actions or omissions are unintentional, beneficiaries who suffer as a result still deserve to recover for their financial losses.

When most people think of abuse in estate planning situations, they think of financial abuse or manipulation against a will-maker or elderly adult. However, many situations occur in which the beneficiaries of a will or trust may suffer financial abuse.

We understand how a beneficiary of a will or trust can feel helpless in such situations and we are committed to standing up for your rights in court.

Standing up for beneficiaries in court.