Fiduciary responsibility in Texas – Fiduciary is a general term. A fiduciary is someone who has undertaken to act for and on behalf of another in a particular matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence. It includes executors, administrators, holders of powers of attorney and others who have custody and control of the property or affairs of others or in whom someone has placed trust and confidence. A fiduciary duty is the most exacting civil duty recognized by law. The fiduciary owes the beneficiaries the duties of loyalty and good faith, integrity of the strictest kind, fair, honest dealing and the duty not to conceal matters which might influence his actions to his principal’s prejudice.
The law often imposes the obligation on the fiduciary to place the interest of the beneficiary before the fiduciary’s own interest. This is in addition to the fiduciary’s duty of good faith and fair dealing.
When a fiduciary duty is imposed, equity requires a stricter standard of behavior than the comparable tortious duty of care at common law. It is said the fiduciary has a duty not to be in a situation where personal interests and fiduciary duty conflict, a duty not to be in a situation where his fiduciary duty conflicts with another fiduciary duty, and a duty not to profit from his fiduciary position without express knowledge and consent. A fiduciary cannot have a conflict of interest. It has been said that fiduciaries must conduct themselves “at a level higher than that trodden by the crowd” and that “[t]he distinguishing or overriding duty of a fiduciary is the obligation of undivided loyalty.”
While there are some relationships on which the law imposes a fiduciary duty such as executors, administrators, holders of powers of attorney, etc., not all relationships of trust create fiduciary duties. Mere subjective trust alone is not enough to transform arm’s-length dealing into a fiduciary relationship. Businessmen generally do trust one another, and their dealings are frequently characterized by cordiality. To create a fiduciary relationship, however, there must be more than mere subjective feelings on one side.
By Robert Ray a Texas inheritance attorney. The foregoing information is general in nature and does not apply to every fact situation. If you are concerned about Texas inheritance laws, inheritance rights, probate limits, have a family inheritance dispute, a property dispute or want to know the reasons for contesting a will or protecting a will from a contest and need an inheritance lawyer, we can help. Please click on the “Contact Us” tab above and use the contact form to contact us today. We are Texas inheritance lawyers and would love to learn about your case. There is no fee for the initial consultation.
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