IRS Recovery & Tax Law Monroe County & Palm Beach County
Probate Trust Administration
Probate, Guardianship, Trust Administration, Litigation as it relates to Trusts, Guardianship and Probate Probate, Guardianship, Trust Administration, Litigation as it relates to Trusts, Guardianship and Probate
IRS Recovery & Tax Law Monroe County & Palm Beach County


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Florida Litigation :

Litigation: The Fiduciary

A "fiduciary" is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as: [a] person holding the character of a trustee, or a character analogous to that of a trustee, in respect to the trust and confidence involved in it and the scrupulous good faith and candor which it requires … [a] person having [a] duty, created by his undertaking, to act primarily for another’s benefit in matters connected with such undertaking… a person having duties involving good faith, trust, special confidence, and candor towards another.  This definition applies to Personal Representatives, Guardians, Trustees, Attorneys-in-Facts and agents. 

Andrea C. D'Addario Trtust Litigation Attorney

Unfortunately due to the high
​standard in which a fiduciary is held under the law, litigation often
​arises in the cases involving fiduciary/beneficiary relationships.

Litigation can occur in a broad range of circumstances. Some of these circumstances include an unwary fiduciary who does not have the experience, knowledge or training to carry out their duties as required by the law; angry or untrusting beneficiaries; family discord; lack of communication; fraud or misappropriation of assets; failure to provide proper notice to beneficiaries and creditors under the law; failure to diversify assets; and the list goes on and on.

Even a fiduciary who is doing everything right can face the unpleasantness of a lawsuit. Although it is strongly recommended to consult with counsel prior to undertaking your fiduciary duties or responsibility, that does not always occur. ​In the event you are served with a lawsuit whether against you individually or in a fiduciary capacity, it is crucial that you consult with counsel. There are deadlines and time frames that must be complied upon being served with a lawsuit.

The general time frame for responding to a lawsuit is 20 days from the date of service and/or notice depending on the context of the lawsuit. Again, failing to respond or responding inadequately to a lawsuit filed against you can result in a default judgment against you personally and/or in your fiduciary capacity.

Litigation: The Beneficiary

If you are a beneficiary, creditor or interested person whose interests are being adversely affected by someone serving in a fiduciary capacity, such as Durable Power of Attorney, Personal Representative, Trustee and/or Guardian, you too may need to seek counsel. For example, if a fiduciary is breaching one or more of his/her duties under Florida law, you may be entitled to bring suit to remedy these actions.

Additionally, if you believe a testamentary document, including a Will or a Trust was the product of undue influence by another or that the Testator/Settlor lacked the requisite capacity to execute these documents (as specifically defined by Florida law) you too may have a cause of action.

There are time frames and limitations of which may affect your rights to bring suit under these circumstances. Again, failing to act timely may result in forfeiture of certain rights to recover for these improper actions.

Litigation is time-consuming, costly and sometimes an emotionally draining experience, which can often be avoided if the proper guidance and advice is obtained in advance.

The practice of D'Addario law is limited to the areas of estate planning, probate, guardianship and trust law. This provides a very personal and intimate approach in our representation of our clients.

We often provide free consultations depending on your need. Feel free to call or e-mail us to inquire.

 Disclaimer: This web site is designed for general informational purposes only. The content of this site does not constitute legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. 

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In Palm Beach: 561-362-2366 • Fax: 561-362-2367
13860 Wellington Trace, Suite 38-213 • Wellington, Florida 33414

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