The necessity of a fiduciary: What having a fiduciary means

If you're starting to plan your estate, then one term you may have heard time and time again is "fiduciary." What is a fiduciary, though, and how does the fiduciary you have impact your estate plan?

A fiduciary is a person who manages your assets, simply put. This can be anyone you designate, like your attorney or an accountant. This person has an ethical and legal obligation to make decisions in your best interests. If the fiduciary is a financial representative or advisor, for example, then that person should help you make good investment decisions.

Having a financial advisor help you with your estate plan doesn't mean you have a designated fiduciary. It's important to directly state who your fiduciary is in your will and estate plan. While 80 percent of financial advisors do consider themselves fiduciaries, you want to know for certain that you have one who will work in your best interests if you are unable to make decisions yourself or if you pass away.

There are different kinds of fiduciaries you might have appointed. A financial fiduciary is fairly common. Another could be an agent who has power of attorney. A third might be an executor placed in charge of your estate.

When it comes to your estate plan, the most important thing to know about a fiduciary is that the fiduciary has a responsibility to settle your estate and to manage your assets. The fiduciary is bound by your last will and testament, which is why it's important to draw up a will with your attorney and to make sure it's legally binding.

Source: U.S. News, "What Exactly Is a Fiduciary?," Kate Stalter, accessed April 21, 2017

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Us To Talk To An Experienced Attorney

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Scott + Hespen Law, PLLC
2356 University Avenue West
Suite 400
St. Paul, MN 55114

Toll Free: 866-442-3092
Phone: 651-968-1457
Fax: 651-647-9544
Map & Directions