The law in Georgia sets a high standard of conduct for executors of wills, administrators of estates, trustees of trusts and guardians or conservators. Failure to live up to this standard can lead to claims for breach of fiduciary, breach of trust, negligence and subject the fiduciary to significant penalties, including removal from office by the court, forfeiture of compensation, as well as payment of damages, including attorneys’ fees or punitive damages. Where the terms of a Will or Trust are not followed, or state laws governing estates and trusts are breached, heirs and beneficiaries may hold fiduciaries accountable for their actions, whether the fiduciary is an individual or a corporate entity.
Estate and Trust disputes develop in many ways. Often the dispute begins with a lack of communication between the fiduciary and the beneficiaries. Concerns may arise about missing assets, or suspicion about property that has been transferred by deed, change of beneficiary forms, pay on death designations, or unauthorized transfer of ownership of financial accounts. It is essential when confronted with concerns about the management of an estate to retain qualified counsel to represent your interests.