The word “fiduciary” comes from the Latin fiducia, which means “faith” or “trust.” Typically, a fiduciary prudently takes care of money or property for another person. The party who places confidence or trust in the fiduciary is known as the “principal.” In a fiduciary relationship, the principal justifiably vests confidence, good faith, reliance and trust in another whose aid, advice, or protection is sought in some matter.
A fiduciary relationship is defined as a legal or ethical relationship of confidence or trust regarding the management of money or property between two or more parties. A fiduciary relationship can extend to many relationships in which one side places confidence in the other and such confidence is accepted. Executors and administrator, personal representatives, trustees, conservators, guardians, agents under powers-of-attorney, Veterans Administration fiduciaries, and representative payees are all examples of fiduciaries.
A fiduciary owes a duty of loyalty, care, and full disclosure to the person he or she represents. A fiduciary is held to a standard of conduct and trust above that of a stranger or of a casual business person, and must avoid situations in which the potential benefit to the fiduciary is in conflict with what is best for the principal. A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care required by law.
The Watts Law Office can assist clients with the appointment as a fiduciary. For those clients acting or appointed as fiduciaries, we can provide counsel and advice regarding their responsibilities, all aspects of required reporting and accounting, and representation in the resolution of disputes fiduciaries with third parties.
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