What is a fiduciary?

A Fiduciary Can Be Part Of Estate Planning

A fiduciary is an individual or organization who has been given the legal authority to act in the best interest of another in various situations. It is important they are loyal, honest and worthy of trust. A fiduciary is hired to make important decisions without regard to any personal motivations. They could be a mortgage broker, banker, business advisor, real estate agent, financial adviser as well as a licensed attorney. They are often part of estate planning.

Trustee
A fiduciary can act as a trustee or successor trustee for an estate. They can be responsible for managing assets put in any type of trust. A fiduciary will be required to act in accordance with the directions of a trust agreement. It is common for someone to act as their own trustee with a living trust. They can then appoint a successor trustee to take over the management of their trust should they become incapacitated or at the time of their death.

Alternate Fiduciary
In many situations, a person may benefit from having an alternate fiduciary. This will be important if the first choice is unable to perform the required duties or no longer wants to be a fiduciary. It’s important to communicate the existence of an alternate fiduciary to any acting fiduciary. Should a person have more than one fiduciary, and none of them are able to perform the necessary duties, a court can select a fiduciary.

Competence
In the state of California, a fiduciary’s competence is based on their legal skill and knowledge. They should have the skills and ability to protect their client’s interests in many different situations.

Conflict Avoidance
A successful fiduciary will know how to avoid any situation that could create a conflict of interest. They will avoid being a fiduciary for one person who has legal issues or a bad history with a current client. An attorney knows that even the appearance of conflict could cause problems.

Confidentiality
When a person is acting as a fiduciary, they will have access to a client’s confidential information. This is often information that could change a client’s life if released to certain individuals or made public. A fiduciary will know they are not permitted to reveal any information considered confidential without their client’s permission.

Communication
A fiduciary knows their client has the right to make decisions about their situation. This could involve filing a lawsuit, signing a contract, accepting a settlement and more. It is the job of the fiduciary to provide their client with enough information to make the best possible decision.

Lawyers
In the eyes of the law, an attorney-client relationship is special. All the lawyers at Albertson & Davidson LLP are licensed, legal professionals. They are required by law to act in the best interest of their clients. They have all met the high moral and ethical standards necessary to successfully act as a fiduciary.

Contact
Many people, as well as organizations, may find themselves needing the services of a fiduciary. The attorneys at Albertson & Davidson LLP realize choosing someone to act in this capacity is a big decision. They have trained and experienced legal professionals who know how to provide the best possible fiduciary services in any situation.

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