Over the past ten years, I have served as an expert witness in multiple cases involving claims for breach of fiduciary duty. I have served as both a consulting and testifying expert in litigation involving trusts, estates, corporations and partnerships. My designations as an expert are split equally between plaintiff and defense.
Any fiduciary relationship that includes real estate or oil and gas in its portfolio has unique management requirements that extend to proper accounting and constantly changing circumstances that can have significant impact on the value of trust property.
Many times after the Trust is funded and the Trustee must begin to fulfill its purpose, little attention and education has been provided to the Trustee regarding the depth of their responsibilities, obligations and duties. Even in cases where there is an experienced Trustee, circumstances often arise creating difficult and many times conflicting issues for the Trustee or beneficiary. It is critical that fiduciaries have procedures in place to manage their many duties and responsibilities. It is equally important for a beneficiary to understand their rights.