Daily Law Group
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Aging alone: Who will handle your fiduciary responsibilities?

Traditionally, a couple married, raised children and grew old together. And as health-related concerns of old age took effect, they supported each other. Together, they divided their assets among their loved ones and designated someone to manage their estates once they were no longer able to do so themselves.

However, many did not follow that path. Regardless of why you are a single older adult, you likely understand you need to choose a fiduciary. Depending on your circumstances, this person will be responsible for managing your finances on your behalf. Though, you might not know what kind of problems you can protect yourself, and your estate, from if a breach in fiduciary duties were to occur.

Five ways a fiduciary could breach your trust

Many people select a fiduciary they know and trust to act in their best interest. However, potential risks exist whether you have a close relationship with your designated fiduciary or must hire someone to act according to your specified desires.

No matter who your fiduciary is, they could mess up. And whether intentional or by mistake, sometimes their errors could hold serious consequences.

Potential breaches in fiduciary duties include:

  • Misappropriating your finances or property
  • Failing to act in your best interest
  • Providing bad advice
  • Omitting facts about financial matters
  • Taking authority of a business opportunity

It can be challenging to designate someone to control your assets for you. However, asking questions and researching your options, as well as your rights, can help you prepare for the future.

Understanding the available recourse should something goes awry could provide comfort in knowing you can age according to plan, regardless of the type of relationship you have with your chosen fiduciary.

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