When someone is no longer capable of managing their own health, wellbeing, or personal and financial affairs, sometimes a family member or close friend will be assigned the responsibilities through what is called a conservatorship. If there is no such person to call upon, however, then a professional fiduciary can assume this role.
What is a professional fiduciary?
A professional fiduciary is a licensed provider of critical services such as daily care, housing and medical needs, and financial management for seniors, disabled persons, and children. To be considered a professional fiduciary in California, the individual must be licensed by the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Professional Fiduciaries Bureau. In addition, the fiduciary must earn 15 hours of continuing education credit each year in order to renew their license.
How to Select a Fiduciary
Because a fiduciary is not a member of the family or a close friend, it can be difficult for people to trust an outside source…especially when it involves the intimate details of personal health and financial matters.
There are steps you can take, however, that will ensure a prospective fiduciary candidate is legitimate and trustworthy:
- Research the fiduciary: The Professional Fiduciaries Bureau in California has a website where you can verify the license and check for disciplinary action of any prospective fiduciaries. Visit www.fiduciary.ca.gov to start your research.
- Ask for references: Once you have verified that a license exists and that there are no disciplinary issues, you should ask the candidate to provide you with references of past or current clients or other professionals. This will help you get another perspective on the type of service you can expect.
- Be ready to interview: Before you hire a professional fiduciary, you should interview at least three licensed professional fiduciaries. The Professional Fiduciaries Bureau provides a list of helpful questions that you can use during your interviews.
While selecting a professional fiduciary may seem like an overwhelming task, these three steps – research, reference and interview – are worth your time. Not only will you find the best person for the job, but you will also have the peace of mind you deserve when it comes to the most personal levels of care.