The laws governing trustees, executors and even lawyers can be convoluted, arcane and distressingly vague. It is not simply a matter of reading and executing statute, but of reviewing decades and even centuries of legal precedent to make a convincing case when challenged by an aggrieved beneficiary.
Practical Knowledge for Custom Solutions
We handle a wide range of estate and trust law matters, including representation in trustee and executor disputes, trustee and attorney obligations and defence of solicitor negligence claims.
We counsel, advise and advocate for you in matters of:
Asset and Estate Management:
- We help fiduciaries ensure that they act solely in the interests of the estate or grantor of the Attorney for Property in terms of the management of assets.
Estate and Trust Accounting:
- A trustee must keep accurate and up-to-date accounts of the assets in an estate or trust. Sufficient records should be kept so that a passing of accounts can be prepared upon request.
Powers of Attorney:
- By signing a Power of Attorney while capable, a grantor can choose an attorney to act on his or her behalf in the event of incapacity; or in circumstances where the grantor, while capable, is simply unavailable when important decisions must be made or actions taken on a timely basis.
- A “court recognized” tariff has evolved for estate trustee compensation. The tariff applies percentages to various sections of the accounts.
- Someone acting as a continuing power of attorney for property may be entitled to annual compensation from the property in accordance with the prescribed fee scale on a monthly, quarterly or annual payment basis.
See Compensation – Trustee Disputes for more information.
Fiduciary Duties and Obligations:
- We help fiduciaries ensure that they act solely in the interests of the estate or grantor of the attorney for property or personal care.
Investment or Disbursement of Funds:
- An estate trustee has a duty to make investment decisions pending the distribution of the estate.
- The trustee may have a duty to diversify the investment portfolio, while having regard to the requirements of the trust and general economic and investment market conditions.
Consult With a Trusted Advisor
We can work in an advisory capacity for executors or trustees who need to understand or clarify their obligations. We can also help you negotiate, litigate or facilitate mediation when a dispute with a client or beneficiary arises. Contact us to schedule an initial consultation and case review.