(redirected from fiduciaries)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Encyclopedia.
Related to fiduciaries: trustee


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 ?
SHEPHERD, supra note 4, at 373 (claiming that "any comprehensive and effective theory of fiduciaries can be postulated as being co-extensive with the law of restitution as a whole"); Smith, supra note 4, at 1408 (observing that "all commentators seem to agree that breach of fiduciary duty falls within the boundaries of the law of restitution").
Fiduciaries through their actions, or inactions, motivated by malice, or through ignorance or neglect, may be held personally liable if they breach their duties.
In many cases functional fiduciaries don't even realize they hold that designation.
In the event of a claim denial or an error in administering those benefits, the plan's fiduciaries are held to the same high standard of care and are subject to personal liability.
Beginning in August 1991, Federal Reserve staff members began meeting with representatives of the FDIC, the Superintendent of Banks of the State of California, and the court-appointed fiduciaries for BCCI to obtain capital support for Independence Bank from the fiduciaries.
For now, it suffices to say that fiduciaries are expected to act in the interests of the beneficiary.
CPAs can sometimes control whether they will be fiduciaries, in relation to specific client engagements.
While many employers find company stock to be a beneficial feature of their employee benefit plans, it may also create a liability exposure for the plan, the company, the plan fiduciaries, directors and officers," said Evan Rosenberg, senior vice president and global specialty lines manager, Chubb Specialty Insurance.
The PWBA recognizes plan fiduciaries may encounter an array of problems regarding investment of employee benefit plan assets upon the reopening of the securities markets.
need to attend very carefully to this question: "Ought such institutions to understand themselves to be moral fiduciaries of patients?