The appointment of fiduciaries is an essential part of our legal system. A fiduciary is anyone to whom property or power is entrusted for the benefit of another. In most circumstances, serving as fiduciary means holding and managing money on someone else’s behalf. Virginia’s rules are among the most complex and confusing, but afford no slack or forgiveness to a lay fiduciary. There are qualification criteria, bond requirements, accounting deadlines, statutory formalities for dealing with creditors, and tax obligations. A fiduciary may also confront complications in the payment of creditors, the sale and investment of assets, making discretionary distributions, and addressing beneficiaries’ questions and demands. The nature of the fiduciary relationship means that the fiduciary’s conduct and dealings are closely scrutinized by beneficiaries, family members and the court. Unfortunately, a fiduciary who commits an error, even innocently or unknowingly, may find him or herself personally liable to the estate, its beneficiaries or its creditors. Mr. Bronley serves as fiduciary in dozens of matters, and regularly advises and assists client-fiduciaries in their dealings. Whether you are serving as executor, administrator, trustee, conservator or a guardian, you should consult with and get the advice of an attorney before setting out to fulfill the responsibilities of your office. At the very least, an attorney will put you in the right direction and may prevent a costly mistake. If you are a fiduciary, or considering qualifying as such, schedule a fiduciary consultation with Mr. Bronley who is well prepared to sit down with you and discuss your endeavor.
At times, a fiduciary may act irresponsibly, or fail to act at all, which may jeopardize the assets he has been entrusted with. While it may be clear that a fiduciary is failing to fulfill his duties, challenging one can be a complicated and confusing process. An attorney versed in this area of the law can help ensure these actions cease and the fiduciary is reprimanded appropriately, or if necessary removed from his position. Mr. Bronley routinely represents and advocates for beneficiaries and family members who are concerned with a fiduciary’s conduct.