A fiduciary is a person or entity that is legally and ethically responsible to advise and act in the Best Interests of another person or party.

This responsibility is known as a fiduciary duty, which requires that the fiduciary act with honesty, integrity, and loyalty towards the person or entity that they are serving.

In the context of Estate Administration and Probate, a fiduciary assumes an obligation through legal documents such as Last Will and Testaments, Trusts, or Powers of Attorney. They outline the fiduciary's responsibilities, and in these situations they are known as a Trustee, Executor, or Administrator.

Fiduciaries can be responsible for managing Assets, making financial decisions, medical decisions, and/or carrying out other duties on behalf of a deceased person.

There are several types of fiduciaries involved in estate planning and administration:

Executor: Named in a will, an Executor is responsible for managing the deceased person's estate, including asset Distribution, Debt Settlement, and legal proceedings.

Trustee: Trustees are appointed to manage and distribute assets in a Trust according to the trust's terms and for the benefit of the trust Beneficiaries.

Guardian: Legal Guardians to make decisions on behalf of Minor children or individuals with legal incapacities, ensuring their well-being and financial needs are met.

Agent under Power of Attorney: Authorized to make financial and legal decisions on behalf of the person who grants them Power of Attorney, especially in the case of incapacity.

Conservator: Under a Conservatorship, a Conservator is appointed by a court to manage the financial affairs and assets of an individual who is unable to do so themselves, often due to incapacity.

Personal Representative: A Personal Representative is broad term that can refer to executors, Administrators, or any individual appointed to manage someone's affairs after their death.

Other important points about a fiduciary include:

Duties: Fiduciaries have a set of legal duties, including loyalty, care, prudence, and diligence, which require them to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries or the individual they are representing. They must manage assets responsibly and avoid conflicts of interest.

Accountability: Fiduciaries are accountable for their actions and decisions. They must maintain accurate records, provide regular reports to beneficiaries or authorities, and, in some cases, seek court approval for certain actions.

Legal Obligations: Fiduciaries are subject to the laws and regulations governing their roles. Failure to fulfill their duties can result in legal liability, including potential lawsuits or removal from their position.

Compensation: In many cases, fiduciaries are entitled to reasonable compensation for their services, which is typically determined by the governing documents or by applicable laws.

Appointment: Fiduciaries are often appointed by the Decedent during their lifetime, typically through formal legal documents. In cases where a person does not designate a fiduciary, a court may appoint one.

Professional Fiduciaries: Some individuals or entities, such as trust companies or attorneys, specialize in serving as fiduciaries. They provide expertise in managing and administering estates, trusts, and other assets.