Examples of fiduciaries are attorneys, bankers, financial advisors, and doctors, to name a few. These people provide a professional service that best serves the person who hired them. But what is available for someone that needs help managing their life, even possibly their financials? Is there anyone out there that can help with that? Yes, and they are called Professional Fiduciaries, a third-party, unrelated person who manages all or part of an estate or individual’s life or assets. Their goal is to avoid conflicts of interest and provide sound advice. This service is available for seniors, persons with disabilities, and children.
Many may think they can do this for a family member, but that is not true in all situations. Some people do not have family available. Others have potentially complicated family dynamics, and hiring a Fiduciary to protect their safety and assets would be in the person’s best interest. Another reason is someone may feel uncomfortable having family or a friend handle their affairs. It’s best to know there are options out there.
Duty of care – responsibility to maintain the person’s health, safety, and well-being, with decisions based on what a reasonable person would do.
Duty of loyalty – putting the best interest of the beneficiaries at all times first and foremost.
Duty of good faith – while acting within the law, yet still maintaining the person’s goals or needs
Duty of confidentiality – respect the information obtained and kept confidential
Duty of prudence – a duty to exercise care, skill, caution, and critical awareness of the risks involved
Duty to disclose – requires a person honestly disclose relevant information to an applicable party.
In California, if you serve as a fiduciary in three or more cases for non-family members, you must be licensed by the state. Remember that each state is different, so you need to know the requirements for the state you are in.
Overall, there are options for people who feel alone when needing help handling life and finances. STAGES is here to educate.