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Fiduciary Representation

Many clients have agreed to act in a "fiduciary" capacity, as an Attorney in Fact under a Power of Attorney, as a guardian, as a trustee of a trust, or as a personal representative/Administrator/Executor of an estate. In addition, you may in fact be a fiduciary if you are acting on someone's behalf, even if it is not formally through a document. There are many duties and responsibilities of a fiduciary that are neither intuitive nor well known. Legal representation is often prudent.

Your duties as a fiduciary are important, significant, and often complex; there are some basic precepts that must always be followed. 1) Assets may be used ONLY for the benefit of the beneficiary. 2) You must keep good records; this means keeping a check register and balancing the checkbook every month. 3) Never co-mingle your assets with those of the beneficiary. 4) No self dealing – to yourself or other family members.

An Excellent resource for understanding your fiduciary responsibilities can be found at the website for the Estate Planning Counsel of Seattle and from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If you are the Trustee of a Special Needs Trust, a good resource is the Handbook for Trustees put out by the Special Needs Alliance.


Attorney Timothy E. Williams serves clients in Tacoma and Pierce County in Washington State.


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© 2017 Timothy E. Williams, Attorney at Law | Disclaimer
5302 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA 98408
| Phone: (253) 591-7088

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