What is a Breach of Fiduciary Duty?
A recent Nevada law expanded the fiduciary duties of financial professionals. In Nevada, financial planners, trustees, investment advisors, and other professionals must make disclosures to their clients about fees, insurance, investments and other actions. Fiduciaries must put their client’s interests ahead of their own interests.
In Nevada, elements that are needed to prove a breach of fiduciary duty are:
- The existence of a fiduciary relationship between the financial professional (the fiduciary) and the client, and the financial professional has a duty by law to act for or give advice for the benefit of the client within the scope of the relationship
- The fiduciary failed to use care or diligence, act in good faith, exercise ordinary skill, or act with reasonable intelligence
- The client suffered losses due to the fiduciary’s breach of duty
If you think that your situation with a financial professional meets this criteria, you should contact a law firm familiar with Nevada laws on fiduciary responsibility to help you evaluate your situation and alternatives.
Fiduciary Duties of Nevada Trustees
In Nevada, a trustee is the person designated to be the owner and manager of trust assets. Nevada State Law holds people who are designated to manage trust assets (trustees) to a high fiduciary standard of care. Generally, trustees have five fiduciary duties:
- Keep beneficiaries informed about how the trust assets are being managed
- Distribute assets as the trust document requires, including paying taxes, debts, and expenses
- Protect the trust’s beneficiaries’ interests and ensure all decisions favor them over anyone else
- Remain impartial and never favor one beneficiary over another
- Cautiously manage the trust’s assets and continually evaluate if there are more appropriate investments
- Deposit trust funds into a personal account or personal safe deposit box
- Deposit personal funds into a trust account
- Co-mingle assets from the trust with any other assets
- Make speculative investments or investments that might potentially benefit you or your business, unless authorized by a court or the trust document
- Make loans without proper documentation
- Move assets into an investment that is not properly documented
- Accept assets in your name without identifying that you are a trustee
- Take any action without the consent of any co-trustees
Trustees must never:
For trustees, any of these actions can be considered a breach of their fiduciary duty. If you are a trustee and have not taken all of the steps you should in administering a trust, you should contact an experienced Nevada estate and trust attorney to help you take the necessary action to remedy the current situation. If you are a beneficiary of a trust where a trustee has breached their fiduciary duty and refuses to correct their actions, you should contact an experienced Nevada estate and trust attorney to assist you in protecting your interest in the trust.
Choosing the Right Las Vegas Law Firm to Help You Sue a Fiduciary
The attorneys at LKP help their clients when they need to correct past errors in a trust administration or when their trustee has not properly fulfilled their fiduciary duties. LKP ranks among the top firms in Las Vegas for trusts and estate law.If you think you may have a fiduciary breach of trust claim, call us at (702) 333-1711 or contact us online.