What to so about the incompetence of a financial planner and the loss of estate assets?

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What to so about the incompetence of a financial planner and the loss of estate assets?

The financial planner that works for the firm that handles my grandma’s trust sold 250k worth of assets above/beyond their fees without permission, consent or even notifying the family of the transaction until the check was in the mail. We did not instruct him to do this as the assets are undervalued because of the economy. Because of the firm’s accounting error, some of the proceeds were distributed incorrectly. Now one family member wants the stock back since he did not authorize the sale. The firm wants the rest of the family to make this up to him; the stocks have risen since selling.

Asked on January 10, 2011 under Estate Planning, Indiana

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the planner mishandled the assets of the trust then you should be able to sue the firm for the loss.  Was it negligence?  Was it a breach of their fiduciary duty?  It could be both in fact.  You need to seek help from an attorney in this matter.  You should all probably seek out an attorney on behalf of the beneficiaries as one, unless your interests are adverse (the one family member that was shorted has a possible adverse interest).  Additionally, do not take the "firms" word for the accounting error or the distribution error.  You will need to hire your own independent accountant to review the transaction and the distribution.  Get help as soon as you can.  Good luck.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the planner mishandled the assets of the trust then you should be able to sue the firm for the loss.  Was it negligence?  Was it a breach of their fiduciary duty?  It could be both in fact.  You need to seek help from an attorney in this matter.  You should all probably seek out an attorney on behalf of the beneficiaries as one, unless your interests are adverse (the one family member that was shorted has a possible adverse interest).  Additionally, do not take the "firms" word for the accounting error or the distribution error.  You will need to hire your own independent accountant to review the transaction and the distribution.  Get help as soon as you can.  Good luck.


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