What better topic for the month of Valentine’s Day than that of fiduciary duty? As those once and forever smitten by the arrow of cupid can attest, love means, among other things, putting the interests of another above those of your own. This same moral ethic defines the fiduciary duty.
Of course, it wasn’t always that way. One of the key elements of trust law—from which we derive our definition of fiduciary duty— comes from two provisions of the Magna Carta. When he signed the Magna Carta in 1215, King John agreed estates would be managed only for the benefit of the beneficiaries. This eliminated both outright theft as well as the more sneaky kind of theft known as “self-dealing” transactions.