When you entrust someone to handle your money or your assets, that person will normally have a fiduciary duty in the handling of your money or assets. A fiduciary relationship is one of special trust and confidence between the parties. One example of a business relationship that may create a fiduciary duty is a financial advisor who is given authority to manage the funds, property or affairs of his client. The financial advisor has a fiduciary duty to put the Client?s interest above his own interest when managing the client?s money. Stated another way, it is wrong for the financial advisor to gain a personal benefit by the wrongful use of the client?s money or assets.

If you or your company will handle someone else?s money or assets, the failure to exercise proper care in your duties can place you or your business at risk of incurring civil liability, and also the possibility of criminal charges.

If you are about to manage, oversee, or care for the money or assets of another or give someone authority to manage your assets it is recommended that you contact an attorney to determine what duties you have and what type of risk management control you need to have to make sure the fiduciary duty is not violated and to review any written agreements or contracts.

Leonard Schneider is a partner in Liles Parker PLLC in the Houston, Texas office. The firm focuses on health care audits, business contracts, general corporate and business litigation matters and municipal law. He can be contacted at lschneider@lilesparker.com or at the firm website www.lilesparker.com. The Houston office number is 713-432-7474

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