“Thought for the Day” #897 – by Stephen R. Elville, J.D., LL.M.

February 2, 2017

Whether you are the personal representative of an estate, the trustee of a trust, an attorney-in-fact under a power of attorney, or the guardian of someone’s property, you have fiduciary duty, and with that duty accompanying potential liability.  Among other responsibilities, you have the duty to account and keep accurate records.  If improperly done or ignored, these accounting responsibilities have a tendency to “creep up” on the uninformed or ill-prepared fiduciary very quickly, leading to potentially disastrous outcomes.  Avoid getting caught in the middle of this easily avoidable entanglement.  Be a good actor – prior to accepting any position or appointment involving fiduciary responsibility, seek advice and counsel, and set up systems to avoid failure.  By doing this, you will be writing your own script where a happy ending is certain to occur.