Fiduciary duty

Fiduciary duty will be an ongoing topic of this blog, because the duty is typically imposed by law on executors, administrators, and trustees.  Hence, it is an important concept in probate litigation. In Texas, the term "fiduciary" generally applies to any person who occupies a position of peculiar confidence to another.  It refers to "integrity and fidelity" and contemplates "fair dealing and good faith."  Daniel v. Falcon Interest Realty Corp., 190 S.W.3d 177, 185 (Tex.App.-Houston 2005, no pet.). One who occupies a fiduciary relationship to another must measure his conduct by high equitable standards, and not by the standards required in dealings between ordinary parties.  Simply put, a fiduciary must put the interests of the other party above his own. Abetter Trucking Co. v. Arizpe, 113 S.W.3d 503, 509 (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2003, no pet.). In certain circumstances, a fiduciary duty is imposed due to a formal relationship between the parties. Typical examples are relationships between an executor and beneficiary, trustee and beneficiary, attorney and client, agent and principal, and partners. Fiduciary duties can also arise in more informal relationships of trust between parties typically described as a "confidential relationship."  However, Texas courts are often reluctant to impose fiduciary duties in such informal circumstance.  In these situations, Texas courts will closely scrutinize the relationship between the parties at issue. The concept of fiduciary duty will be a recurring topic of Texas Probate Litigation blog.  While I can't give legal advice on this blog, I will consider particular topics of interest posted or emailed by readers. J. Michael Young Collin, Dallas, Grayson County Fiduciary Litigation Attorneys