What is fiduciary duty?

What is fiduciary duty?

I came across the term "fiduciary duty" in an article about estate planning for farmers recently.

It's not a commonly-used term outside of the legal sector, and it doesn't apply solely to the farming industry, either.

Quite simply, it means that you are obliged to act in the best interests of another individual, or group of individuals.

Of course, then it becomes clear that executors of an estate, who are engaged in order to secure a grant of probate, pay off all debts and distribute an estate in accordance with the deceased's wishes, must act with fiduciary duty to the deceased.  That is, they must ensure to the best of their ability, that they can take care of their financial and legal obligations in an appropriate manner, after they've gone.

Evidently, this is a very responsible role, which carries with it legal and financial implications, so if you have been named as an executor of a will, you should consider the request very carefully before agreeing.  You will be held personally liable, should you act inappropriately or not in the best interests of the deceased.

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