Fiduciary Obligations Have Legal Consequences
When a friend or family member trusts you to play a fiduciary role in their estate plan, you should feel honored. Before you accept the role, however, you need to understand what kinds of duties you will have. So what is a fiduciary? Fiduciary positions involve legal duties caring for another’s assets, and you can face major consequences for mishandling some else’s property.
The attorneys at Bingham Legal Group PC have extensive experience guiding people in the following fiduciary roles:
- Conservator or guardian
- Probate personal representative (executor) or administrator
- Attorney in fact under a power of attorney
Each of these positions has a unique set of responsibilities and legal guidelines. We will help you understand those responsibilities so that you meet every obligation correctly and in a timely manner.
Understanding Your Fiduciary Duties
Whether you are now administering a trust or estate or helping a parent with finances under a power of attorney, you now have a set of legal obligations called fiduciary duties. This means you have a duty of care toward the person (or trust or estate) you are helping, and must treat their property with the same care and protection you would treat your own.
Michigan law values proper procedure in these cases. For that reason, you are allowed to use the funds in your care to obtain reasonable legal advice and guidance regarding your role, and to help you follow the steps necessary to properly fulfill your duties.
Failure to follow through on your legal obligations opens you up to litigation from other family members or beneficiaries. Protect yourself with trusted legal guidance. Although other parties may still challenge your actions even if you do everything right, you will be confident in your defense that you acted appropriately.