There are a variety of circumstances that require that a person or entity act or manage property on another's behalf. Those folks and companies are fiduciaries, and their appointment and supervision is an essential part of our legal system. In most circumstances, serving as fiduciary means holding and managing money on someone else’s behalf, but it also may mean being entrusted with decision making for another who is unable. Virginia’s rules are among the most complex and confusing, but afford no slack or forgiveness. 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 has served as fiduciary himself in over one hundred matters, and regularly advises and assists client-fiduciaries in their dealings. Whether you are serving as executor, administrator, trustee, curator, conservator or a guardian, you should consult with and get the advice of an attorney both before setting out to fulfill the responsibilities of your office. There should be an experienced adviser that you can call when you encounter the unexpected. 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.