No one wants to start the New Year thinking about conflict but fiduciaries balance many, often competing, interests every day and the potential for conflict is real. Fiduciaries can minimize the likelihood for conflict by institutionalizing regular communications with beneficiaries, advisors and other third parties. Keeping detailed documentation of these communications is equally important and may mitigate the potential for liability if litigation cannot be avoided. Moreover, preserving these documents is required when a fiduciary has notice of the potential for litigation.
Often, the value of records retention plans becomes apparent too late – for example, after a lawsuit has been filed or a subpoena has been served. Planning now for these events can save you countless hours searching for and collecting records, not to mention the expense of professional help or the prospect of sanctions if records that should be retained are lost or destroyed.
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