Claims Involving Fiduciaries

Executor Misconduct In New York Estate Administration

Would-be heirs want to know where the money went. Jealous siblings or amateur sleuths are convinced of financial shenanigans. People appointed to the thankless job of settling a family member's estate find themselves on the defensive.

Breach of fiduciary duty is a serious allegation. Sometimes, where there's smoke there's fire. Sometimes it turns out to be an honest mistake, a misunderstanding or a family feud. Robshaw & Voelkl, PC, in Buffalo, New York, has defended estate fiduciaries accused of misconduct. We also represent beneficiaries who want answers and action when it appears that an executor, trustee or conservator has abused his or her position of trust for personal gain. We regularly represent out-of-state clients (fiduciaries or heirs) in these matters.

Buffalo Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Attorneys

A fiduciary is any person named in the will or approved by the court to oversee the finances of a person who is living (power of attorney or conservator) or to administer the estate or trust of a person who is deceased (executor or trustee). Because of their access and authority, fiduciaries are held to a high standard of conduct and a high degree of transparency in their actions and accounting.

Allegations of breach of fiduciary duty can take many forms:

  • Writing checks to oneself
  • Stealing property of the estate
  • Liquidating assets and skimming from the proceeds
  • Transferring title to property
  • Phantom or exaggerated administrator expenses
  • Manipulating the grantor into giving away wealth
  • Undue influence over the deceased's most recent will
  • Other fraud, forgery, collusion or self-serving actions
  • Dereliction of duty or incompetence

Experienced Representation For Claims Involving Fiduciaries

Under a provision of New York probate law, an executor or conservator suspected of breach of fiduciary duty can be compelled to testify about what happened to the money. On behalf of the estate or beneficiaries, we can petition the court to remove a fiduciary and have someone else appointed, and we can pursue recovery of any misappropriated assets.

We also represent fiduciaries who are wrongly accused of impropriety. From decades of experience advising executors and conservators, and extensive experience in probate litigation, we can counter unfounded allegations of unjust enrichment and show that there was no intent to defraud or deprive others of inheritance.

Our knowledgeable lawyers have 65 combined years of experience in estate planning, estate administration and estate litigation in Erie County and Western New York. To investigate your suspicions of fiduciary abuse or to defend your actions as a representative of the estate, call Robshaw & Voelkl at 716-633-4030 or contact us online to arrange a free initial consultation.