One of the most fundamental duties of a fiduciary is the duty of loyalty. That is, every fiduciary must administer the estate or trust subject to his or her stewardship solely in the interests of the beneficiaries. If a fiduciary engages in self-dealing, that duty is breached. In Matter of Smith, the Surrogate’s Court, Albany County, recently addressed the liability attendant to fiduciary self-dealing . Ilene Cooper discusses the decision in our latest post.
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My colleagues have written on the enforceability of in terrorem clauses, and the courts continue to confront challenges in reconciling the testator’s intent to impose an in terrorem condition with the rights of beneficiaries to challenge the conduct of their fiduciary. The New York County Surrogate’s Court’s recent decision in Matter of Merenstein provides further

Surrogate McCarty of Nassau County recently addressed a case in which the parents of a deceased minor each sought letters of administration, alleging that the other was ineligible. Frank Santoro discusses the decision, as well as general rules of eligibility to serve as a fiduciary, in our most recent entry.
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The American Rule provides that each party to a litigation generally remains responsible for his own legal expenses regardless of who prevails. In Matter of Lasdon, Surrogate Glen of New York County explained the few and narrow exceptions to that Rule, one of which pertains to cases of fiduciary misconduct. Jaclene D’Agostino discusses the decision in our latest entry.
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