Defining Fiduciary Relationships: Types and Responsibilities

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Fiduciary relationships are built on trust and involve one party acting in the best interests of another party they represent. No matter the industry, fiduciaries have legal and ethical obligations to prioritize the interests of their beneficiaries.

Every fiduciary relationship have their intricacies ‒ if you want to learn more about them and fiduciary global services, keep on reading.

Different types of fiduciary relationships


All fiduciary relationships follow the same idea: a fiduciary represent their client, or beneficiary, and acts in their best interests regardles of their own.

With that in mind, you can find fiduciaries in many industries. These are the most prominent types of fiduciary relationships you can surely relate to.

Financial Fiduciaries

Financial fiduciaries include financial advisors, investment managers, trustees, and estate planners. They have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their clients or beneficiaries when providing financial advice, managing investments, or overseeing assets.

Legal Fiduciaries

Legal fiduciaries include attorneys, trustees, and guardians. These individuals are entrusted with another person’s legal rights and responsibilities, known as the ward or beneficiary. Legal fiduciaries must act in the best interests of their wards and make decisions that promote their well-being and protect their rights.

Medical Fiduciaries

Medical fiduciaries, such as doctors, nurses, and healthcare agents, have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their patients or healthcare recipients. They must prioritize patient welfare, provide accurate information, and make decisions that promote the health and well-being of the patient.

Among them, a relationship between real estate agent and seller (or buyer) can also be considered a fiduciary relationship.

What are fiduciary responsibilities?

Fiduciaries have several key responsibilities, or duties:

  1. Duty of Loyalty: fiduciaries must act solely in the best interests of their beneficiaries, avoiding any conflicts of interest or self-dealing.
  2. Duty of Care: fiduciaries must exercise a high standard of care and skill when performing their duties, utilizing their expertise and acting prudently.
  3. Duty of Disclosure: fiduciaries are obligated to provide full and transparent information to their beneficiaries, ensuring they have all the necessary information to make informed decisions.
  4. Duty of Confidentiality: fiduciaries must maintain strict confidentiality and protect the privacy of their beneficiaries, respecting any privileged information.

Sticking to these duties allows for the trust in a fiduciary relationships and promotes better results of this cooperation.

What does a breach of fiduciary duty looks like?


Having a fiduciary duty stands for always being on the beneficiary’s side of matters and placing their interests above fiduciary’s own. So, when a fiduciary duty breaches, it usually takes one of these forms.

  • self-dealing ‒ an exploitation of fiduciary position to benefit financially at the expense of their beneficiaries;
  • asset mismanagement ‒ unability to safely manage and protect the assets entrusted to the fiduciary’s care;
  • conflict of interests, or withholding information about potential conflicts that could compromise the fiduciary’s ability to act in the beneficiary’s best interests.

Fiduciary relationships are based on trust and require fiduciaries to prioritize the interests of their beneficiaries. Whether in the financial, legal, or medical field, fiduciaries have specific duties. Breaches of these duties can have serious consequences and destroy the trust essential to these relationships.

You can expect full disclosure and high quality of fiduciary services if you work with Thales Capital Luxembourg