Hagel Lawfirm is open for business. We are happy to assist the community with their legal needs. We provide safe environment for our employees and our clients. Our offices are equipped with UV light air sanitizers and our ventilation system is working with fresh, not recycled air. We are accommodating clients' meetings in person, by videoconference and by phone.
Determined & Experienced
Estate Litigation Lawyer

The role of a fiduciary in Ontario

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2017 | Executors & Fiduciaries, Trustees

Most people know what an executor is. But when it comes to the term “fiduciary”, it’s likely many Ontario residents don’t have a clue what the term means. In estate planning, a trustee is the ultimate fiduciary.

A fiduciary is a person (or even a company) who has the trust and confidence of another person or persons. This responsible person or company has four main duties regarding the management and administration of a trust, which also includes investment. Those four duties include the duty of loyalty, the duty of care, the duty of even-handedness and the duty not to delegate. Often the terms trustee and fiduciary are used interchangeably. 

In Ontario, the Trustee Act stipulates that, “in investing trust property, a trustee must exercise the care, skill, diligence and judgment that a prudent investor would exercise in making investments.” In doing so, a fiduciary must take into consideration seven things: the economic climate; projected total return on income and capital appreciation and how every investment may affect the overall portfolio of the trust. Those who hold the position of trustee/fiduciary must carry out the duties he or she has been assigned within the law. A breach of that trust may result in the trustee being held liable.

If funds are always invested as per a trust agreement, loss of funds would not constitute a breach of trust. If, however, the fiduciary acted recklessly or imprudently, he or she may be liable for breach of trust. Not every estate has a trust aspect, but many do.

Being named a trustee or a fiduciary may be confusing to some people. The help of an Ontario lawyer experienced in wills and estate law would be able to help. Such a lawyer would be able to explain any documents or answer any questions regarding the legalities of estate planning, including the explanation of trustees, executors and fiduciaries.




Source: advisor.ca, “The quintessential fiduciary“, Elaine Blades, Accessed on Sept. 22, 2017


Contact Today >>