What is a Fiduciary?
A fiduciary is someone who accepts the responsibility of handling the personal or financial affairs of someone else.
There are three different kinds of fiduciaries:
Guardians are responsible for someone's personal affairs — such as housing, education and medical care. Guardians must always act in the best interests of the ward, must respect the wishes of the ward to the greatest extent possible, and must strive to ensure the ward enjoys the maximum possible independence, dignity and opportunities for personal growth.
Conservators are responsible for someone's financial affairs — such as receiving disability, Social Security or pension benefits, paying bills, and managing investment portfolios and rental properties. Conservators must submit detailed accountings and realistic budgets to the court on a regular basis.
Personal representatives manage estates of those who have passed away. A personal representative has a fundamental ethical duty to ensure that the decedent's wishes are carried out to the greatest extent possible.
In Arizona, only licensed fiduciaries can perform these services for a fee. The Arizona Supreme Court oversees licensed fiduciaries.
In order to be licensed in Arizona, a fiduciary must have experience in managing personal and financial affairs, must undergo a background and credit check, must be fingerprinted and bonded, must pass a comprehensive examination, must undertake ongoing continuing education, and must submit to regular audits by the courts.
There are fewer than 200 licensed fiduciaries in the State of Arizona — fewer than 75 of whom are located in Maricopa County.
Fiduciaries often provide additional services in addition to their core duties. These services can include:
- Agent under a General Power of Attorney
- Property Management / Home Inspections
- Personal Bookkeeping
- Transportation & Shopping
- Pet Care
- Relocation Services
- Future Nomination as Successor Fiduciary
We can provide all these services in connection with serving as a fiduciary. We know each client is different and has different needs. We provide whatever services are required or requested — but nothing more.