Frequently Asked Questions

What is a professional fiduciary?

A Professional Fiduciary provides critical services to clients who have difficulty in managing their financial and/or healthcare matters. They are licensed and knowledgeable individuals that are able to assist clients with daily care, housing, medical needs, bill paying, and estate management.

Fiduciaries advocate for their clients by helping them to protect themselves, property, and their wishes for the future beneficiaries of their estates. Fiduciaries can act as a trustee, agent under power of attorney, executor, daily money manager, guardian or conservator.

Who needs a fiduciary?

Fiduciaries are needed by those who are not capable or willing to take care of themselves or their finances. Fiduciaries work with senior citizens, persons with temporary or permanent disabilities, children, individuals with busy lifestyles, and frequent travelers.

Senior Citizens, in particular, may need a fiduciary due to physical changes such as limited vision, arthritis or other conditions that make it difficult to write, forgetfulness, dementia or the simple loss of the ability to keep up with everyday tasks. Also, for those seniors that are active in their retirement and are to busy or don’t want to spend their valuable time handling their personal affairs.

What are the benefits of hiring a fiduciary?

Hiring a fiduciary as a third party avoids placing the burden on friends and family members. Fiduciaries are there to protect and preserve the estate and to get the appropriate level of medical care that is solely in the best interest of the beneficiary. They also safeguard people from abuse, neglect and exploitation who may be vulnerable or incapacitated.

If I hire a fiduciary, do I still need an accountant, lawyer, or social worker?

A fiduciary does not take the place of other professionals including accountants, lawyers, financial planners or social workers. They compliment and will work with these professionals to best serve the needs of their clients.

Fiduciaries can provide referrals to legal, tax, and investment professional, as well as, community resources.

Will I be giving up my independence if I hire a fiduciary?

No, in fact our services help many seniors to avoid guardianship or remain in their home longer. In addition, it gives you more time, freedom and independence to do the more important things in life.

How much do fiduciaries charge?

Fiduciaries may charge by the hour or by a percentage of the estate depending on the services needed. In some cases the fees may be outlined in the estate planning documents. In court-supervised cases, the Probate Court approves what they consider to be reasonable fees.

Where can I get help looking for a fiduciary?

The Professional Fiduciaries Association of California (PFAC) provides a member listing of licensed private fiduciaries that have fulfilled their education and experience requirements.