What is a fiduciary?
A fiduciary is a person who is legally appointed to manage the financial affairs of another person.
In what specific roles do fiduciaries serve?
- Private-agreement fiduciaries serve by contract made with an individual, a couple or a family member as a Trustee, Successor Trustee, Executor, or Attorney-In-Fact under a Power of Attorney.
- Court-appointed fiduciaries serve by appointment of a Court as guardians, conservators, and personal representatives of probate estates.
What are some of the duties of a fiduciary?
- Power of Attorney for Health Care assumes the responsibility for decisions regarding the health and welfare of a person, when the person is unable to make those decisions for themselves.
- Conservator of the Person occurs when a Court determines that a person is incapacitated when he or she lacks sufficient understanding to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning daily living needs.
- Power of Attorney for Finance allows the fiduciary to manage a person’s financial affairs for the prudent use and protection of the person's assets. The Private Fiduciary is responsible for inventorying, marshaling and managing all assets and benefits belonging to the person. The Private Fiduciary receives the income, pays obligations of the estate, applies for pensions and organizes data for the preparation of income tax returns and other related reports.
- Conservator of the Estate is appointed by a Court and is responsible for inventorying, marshaling and managing all assets and benefits belonging to the conserved person. The conservator receives the income, pays obligations of the estate, applies for pensions and organizes data for the preparation of income tax returns and other related reports.
- Trustee of the Estate is named in a testamentary trust, a living trust or court appointed as the person responsible for carrying out the terms of the Trust as set forth in the document.
Who oversees fiduciaries?
- Private agreement fiduciaries are governed by the laws of the State of California, and regulated by the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs.
- Private fiduciaries that are members of the Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC) must abide by the PFAC Code of Ethics.
- Court-appointed fiduciaries must report services performed and fees incurred to the Court.
Cost of Services?
- In court appointments, the Court approves reasonable fees.
- Private Agreement Fiduciaries usually have a fee schedule which is available upon request.