What is a Private Professional Fiduciary?
A fiduciary is an individual in whom another has placed the utmost trust and confidence. A fiduciary has a duty to act in the best interest for the benefit of another. A fiduciary manages a client's personal affairs, including daily care, housing, medical needs, and finances, ranging from paying bills to handling investments, property and trusts.
A fiduciary may serve by agreement as a trustee, agent under a durable power of attorney for healthcare, and/or agent under a durable power of attorney for finances.
A fiduciary may serve by court appointment as a conservator of the person, the estate, or both person and estate. They may act as a guardian of the person, the estate, or both. A fiduciary may serve as executor or personal representative of an estate.
Is there a state agency who licenses Private Professional Fiduciaries?
The Professional Fiduciaries Bureau is a State agency created in 2006 under the Department of Consumer Affairs to license and regulate professional fiduciaries in California. A fiduciary handling more than one conservatorship or guardianship must be licensed. A fiduciary acting as trustee or agent under durable power of attorney for healthcare or finances for more than three people must be licensed. Some exceptions include: attorneys, certified public accountants, brokers and investment advisers, employees of trust companies, and employees of public agencies.
Private Fiduciaries are also governed by state statute. Each California county has a Probate Court as part of its Superior Court system.
Who needs a Professional Fiduciary?
Many seniors with family choose to appoint a Professional Fiduciary to avoid burdening family members. Even the most capable adult child is frequently fully committed to work and home responsibilities and may not live conveniently nearby. And, of course, many family members would not be a good choice for fiduciary work due to the lack of appropriate skills or the potential for conflict with siblings or other relatives.
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