What Does It Really Mean to Be a Fiduciary?

The financial and estate planning world is filled with important terms that must be properly understood in order to make educated decisions to protect your interests. The concept behind a fiduciary is relatively simple but very important to understand. A fiduciary is a corporate entity or a person who has been appointed to act on behalf of someone else.

This includes actions in situations that require trust, good faith and honesty. It is a significant obligation to be named as a fiduciary, and likewise, if you are naming a fiduciary to manage your estate or your trust, you will need to think carefully about who you can rely on in this role. This is because fiduciaries must meet a standard known as duty of care.

A professional appointed as a fiduciary has to stay current with life changes of beneficiaries and assets so that they can provide a high and professional level of ongoing care. Fiduciaries are responsible to the beneficiaries they serve, meaning that a fiduciary cannot legally act in their own best interests.

It is their responsibility to act only in the best interests of the party they represent. If you are thinking about who to instill in a fiduciary role as part of your estate, spend some time thinking about this before scheduling a consultation with an estate planning lawyer.

Any abuse of an elderly person under a power of attorney or other similar document could lead to that person being removed from their role. This is why it’s important to understand the distinctions in the law and to work with a qualified lawyer in Virginia Beach to take action if and when a fiduciary has crossed the line.