Understanding Fiduciary Litigation: The Role of the Fiduciary

Chicago Estate Litigation | Fiduciary LitigationFiduciary litigation is type of estate litigation that usually involves resolving legal conflicts between beneficiaries and fiduciaries.  The fiduciary can refer to any legal representative who manages parts of an estate on the behalf of another party, known as the principal. A banker, accountant, lawyer, executor, trustee and corporate board member could all be considered fiduciaries because they are responsible for managing the property and assets and of their clients. Another essential role of the fiduciary is to fulfill the obligation of acting primarily for the benefit of the principal. The fiduciary is also expected to make their decisions for the principal with good faith and honesty. If the fiduciary ever fails to uphold this responsibility, fiduciary litigation may be required on the grounds of a breach of fiduciary duty.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty & Fiduciary Relationships

A breach of fiduciary duty refers to any violation of the fiduciary relationship. Most fiduciary relationships hinge upon one of two conditions: contractual relationship or transnational relationships. Whereas the former would include corporate partnerships, business shareholders, trustees and executors, the latter would characterize attorneys, accountants and fund managers. Fiduciary duties formed upon legal or business agreements are typically more complex fiduciary litigation matters since the principal and fiduciary often have shared financial interests through their contractual agreement. Fiduciary relationships based on business transactions poses different challenges in litigation than the former since their is no written document to confirm the terms of the fiduciary relationship.

In any case, some of the most important factors to consider in fiduciary litigation on the grounds of a breach of fiduciary duty are:

  • The timeline of the fiduciary relationship
  • Whether or not the fiduciary relationship existed at the time of the breach of fiduciary duty
  • The extent and scope of the fiduciary relationship
  • Whether or not the breach of fiduciary relationship was within the scope of their obligations
Our Chicago estate litigation attorneys provide legal counsel to individuals, families and businesses to help them understand their legal rights as a principal and, if necessary, explore fiduciary litigation options. Our estate litigation attorneys also handle cases involving fiduciary liability, the duty of impartiality and other fiduciary-related matters so that proper legal representation can provided for fiduciaries as well.