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Related to Fiduciary obligation: fiduciary duty, Fiduciary relationship


An individual in whom another has placed the utmost trust and confidence to manage and protect property or money. The relationship wherein one person has an obligation to act for another's benefit.

A fiduciary relationship encompasses the idea of faith and confidence and is generally established only when the confidence given by one person is actually accepted by the other person. Mere respect for another individual's judgment or general trust in his or her character is ordinarily insufficient for the creation of a fiduciary relationship. The duties of a fiduciary include loyalty and reasonable care of the assets within custody. All of the fiduciary's actions are performed for the advantage of the beneficiary.

Courts have neither defined the particular circumstances of fiduciary relationships nor set any limitations on circumstances from which such an alliance may arise. Certain relationships are, however, universally regarded as fiduciary. The term embraces legal relationships such as those between attorney and client, Broker and principal, principal and agent, trustee and beneficiary, and executors or administrators and the heirs of a decedent's estate.

A fiduciary relationship extends to every possible case in which one side places confidence in the other and such confidence is accepted; this causes dependence by the one individual and influence by the other. Blood relation alone does not automatically bring about a fiduciary relationship. A fiduciary relationship does not necessarily arise between parents and children or brothers and sisters.

The courts stringently examine transactions between people involved in fiduciary relationships toward one another. Particular scrutiny is placed upon any transaction by which a dominant individual obtains any advantage or profit at the expense of the party under his or her influence. Such transaction, in which Undue Influence of the fiduciary can be established, is void.


1) n. from the Latin fiducia, meaning "trust," a person (or a business like a bank or stock brokerage) who has the power and obligation to act for another (often called the beneficiary) under circumstances which require total trust, good faith and honesty. The most common is a trustee of a trust, but fiduciaries can include business advisers, attorneys, guardians, administrators of estates, real estate agents, bankers, stock brokers, title companies, or anyone who undertakes to assist someone who places complete confidence and trust in that person or company. Characteristically, the fiduciary has greater knowledge and expertise about the matters being handled. A fiduciary is held to a standard of conduct and trust above that of a stranger or of a casual business person. He/she/it must avoid "self-dealing" or "conflicts of interests" in which the potential benefit to the fiduciary is in conflict with what is best for the person who trusts him/her/it. For example, a stockbroker must consider the best investment for the client, and not buy or sell on the basis of what brings him/her the highest commission. While a fiduciary and the beneficiary may join together in a business venture or a purchase of property, the best interest of the beneficiary must be primary, and absolute candor is required of the fiduciary. 2) adj. defining a situation or relationship in which a person is acting as a fiduciary for another. (See: trust, fiduciary relationship)


adjective commanding belief, commanddng confidence, confidential, deserving belief, fiducial, founded in confidence, reliable, sound, trusted, worthy of belief, worthy of credence
Associated concepts: fiduciary bequest, fiduciary bond, fiduuiary capacity, fiduciary relation


noun agent, caretaker, custodian, guardian, one who handles property for another, one who transacts business for another, person entrusted with property of another, trustee
Associated concepts: escrow, trust
See also: executor, pecuniary, trustee
References in periodicals archive ?
Less extreme in her description of fiduciary uncertainty is Deborah A DeMott, "Beyond Metaphor: An Analysis of Fiduciary Obligation" [1988] 5 Duke LJ 879 [DeMott, "Beyond Metaphor"] (describing fiduciary obligation as "one of the most elusive concepts in Anglo-American law" at 879).
Similarly, Calveley suggests that not everything done by a public officer is a "public" function or one giving rise to a public fiduciary obligation.
Despite identifying that the doctor-patient relationship conforms to the second condition from which fiduciary duties may arise, the High Court further specified (that is to say, narrowed) the scope for imposing fiduciary obligations within the clinical relationship.
335 at 384, quoting Ernest Weinrib in his article The Fiduciary Obligation (1975), 25 U.
One possible response is that the Crown's historical abuse of Aboriginal rights is evidence that it has breached its fiduciary obligation rather than evidence that such an obligation did not exist in the first place.
If the government continues to ignore its fiduciary obligation to First Nations people, it is sure to suffer a gigantic throbbing court headache a few years from now, said Tony Hall, who predicts this issue will be as costly and politically embarrassing down the road as the residential school compensation question is today.
They also have a fiduciary obligation to their investors to do all they can to meet initial investment goals.
After a brief historical summary of each jurisdiction, the book provides an overview of the evolution and recognition of native title, the recognition of off-shore and water rights, extinguishment and regulation of native title, and the jurisprudence concerning compensation and fiduciary obligation.
One view urges that agency was the device used by the civil courts to impose a fiduciary obligation on the broker in the absence of rules or constraints.
Because the "execution of a search warrant is a serious matter,"(13) the court expressed its opinion that the government, when executing a warrant, has a fiduciary obligation to ensure that the principles embodied in the fourth amendment are followed and that the privacy of individuals is not invaded any more than what is reasonably necessary.
This idea is critical to the development of a more robust account of the foundation, nature, and scope of fiduciary obligation.
Baron Financial Group, LLC, is an independent Fee-Only wealth management firm that offers objective, commission-free financial advice with a fiduciary obligation to clients.