At the Boca Raton law firm of Todd A. Zuckerbrod, P.A., we understand the complexities of managing and protecting the assets that you have accumulated over the years, as well as the pitfalls that often await the unwary. Whether your assets are invested in securities or other investment vehicles in a brokerage account, or they are included in one or more trusts for the benefit of your heirs in the form of securities, real estate, insurance products, personal possessions, and more, you want to make sure they remain safe, and appreciate in value while under management.
Working to Keep Those Who Deal with Other People’s Money Honest
Unfortunately, any time there is a significant amount of money involved in an investment account or trust, it can pose a temptation for the unscrupulous. Most financial advisors and trustees are honest, competent, and careful; but not all.
On the other side of the coin, being a stockbroker, financial advisor, or a trustee managing someone else’s assets can put you in a position where you are blamed for losses in value or mismanagement, when in fact you have managed the funds in your care to the best of your ability. They may have been affected by a general downturn in the market or some factor that you have absolutely no control over, resulting in your being wrongly accused of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, or some other type of wrongdoing.
Money can corrupt, but money can also make people perceive possible corruption where it doesn’t exist, staining an honest fiduciary’s good name.
Laws exist to protect those who trust others to handle their assets; they also serve to protect the broker or trustee from unsupportable accusations. State and federal laws set forth rules and standards by which anyone who serves in a fiduciary capacity must act. These rules and standards, as long as they are followed, protect those who entrust their assets and those who manage them; but they must be meticulously followed. Among other legal requirements, a fiduciary – whether a financial professional, brokerage firm, or trustee – must always put the interests of the owner or the owner’s beneficiaries above his own, must not intermingle funds or use a client’s funds for his own benefit, and must keep in close communication with the client or the client’s beneficiaries.