Do you or a loved one have a trust or will? Are there words in the documents that you aren’t quite sure what they mean? Have you wondered what they mean, but never asked anyone the meaning.
There are a lot of legal terms that not many people understand the meaning for. This article will talk about the word “fiduciary.” Fiduciary looks like it would be a challenging word to understand but, the meaning of it is quite simple.
According to Horton v. Hamilton, 345 P. 3d 357 (Okla. 2015) the word fiduciary means simply one who is in a trusted or “confidential relationship.” It exists when one person trusts and relies upon another. Such a relationship also exists when one person acquires influence over another such that the influenced allows the influencer to substitute his or her will for the influenced person’s own.
For a breach of a fiduciary duty, the Oklahoma Courts look for bad behavior. Taking advantage of someone who depends upon and trusts another person may be a crime, and is most certainly a civil offense subjection the one wrongfully benefiting to damages.
If you are a fiduciary be careful to not make checks out to yourself, or to loan money to yourself from the trust or other person’s money. Perhaps you are an attorney-in-fact or trustee for a friend, elderly relative or neighbor. Be careful. If you are to be paid any money, or given a gift, or receive a loan, make sure there is a witness to the act, and do not make the check out to yourself. Also, take out your cell phone and record the event and the statement of the dependent individual whom you are helping, who now wants to do something for you. If possible have the individual make out this check himself or herself, or at least sign it. The best thing to do if you are serving as an attorney-in-fact or trustee is contact an attorney who deals with probates, trusts and wills. That attorney would be the best person to tell you what to do.
An experienced probate, living trust and will attorney like Brent D. Coldiron knows how to protect you. He knows how to prepare a probate, trust or will the correct way. Brent has over 39 years experience. His fees are reasonable. The best money ever spent is to get good experienced legal advice before signing your name to something. Contact Brent at (405) 478-5655 or 737-2244. His website is BRENT’S WEBSITE. Visit his blog, Your Estate Attorney, at his website.