Q&A

What is a fiduciary?   fi·du·ci·ar·y  [fi-doo-shee-er-ee]

A person to whom property or power is entrusted 
for the benefit of another.

Why have a fiduciary? Do you need a fiduciary?

You may need a fiduciary, if you…

  • Aren’t able to (or don’t want to) handle the details any longer.
  • Have no family members who can or will take on the challenge.
  • Need a neutral person (referee) to handle your affairs.
  • You would like to have the opportunity to be proactive and choose someone you trust and know will be working for you.

What does the fiduciary do?

  • Becomes your partner, advocate, personal manager, protector, as needed.
  • Maintains your confidentiality and assists you with decision-making and gathers resources to support you.

How does a fiduciary work?

  • Follows the terms of the trust or other instructions provided by you.
  • Works with you, family members, courts, attorneys, and other professionals to ensure your needs and wishes are fulfilled.
  • Works within the guidelines of the California Probate Code and Professional Fiduciary Code of Ethics.

Professional fiduciaries versus family/friends as fiduciaries

  • Family/friends may not have the same level of education and focus.
  • Placing one family member in charge may alienate other family members or create discord in the family.
  • Professional fiduciaries are licensed by the state of California.
  • Professional fiduciaries must maintain their licenses by adhering to state and professional conduct standards and meet continuing education requirements annually.
  • Professional fiduciaries are better able to maintain neutrality with family members.

How do you find a professional fiduciary?

© Dusty White 2011