What is a Fiduciary?

A fiduciary is a person or entity that is in a position of trust and faithfulness to another.A fiduciary relationship can be created with a formal contract, a court appointment, or by merely offering to assist someone.

Many states have special courts, called Probate or Surrogate courts, that deal almost exclusively with the appointment and supervision of fiduciaries.In these courts, the common names for these fiduciaries are as follows:

  • Executor
  • Administrator
  • Conservator
  • Guardian
  • Trustee

A competent adult can sign documents that nominate or appoint an ‘agent’ to make decisions for him or her. These documents are called ‘Power of Attorney’ or ‘Health Care Directive.’

What is a California Licensed Professional Fiduciary?

A California Licensed Professional Fiduciary is a person who has successfully completed educational and testing requirements as mandated by the California Department Consumer Affairs Fiduciary Bureau. The designation of fiduciary includes, but is not limited to: Conservator, guardian, executor, trustee, and administrator of a decedent’s estate.A license is now required for any person who acts as a fiduciary for three or more people who are unrelated to them.

As stated on the Fiduciary Bureau’s website: “Professional fiduciaries provide critical services to seniors, persons with disabilities, and children. They manage matters for clients including daily care, housing, and medical needs, and offer financial management services ranging from basic bill paying to the estate and investment management. Requirements for licensing include passing an examination and completing thirty (30) hours of approved education courses.”

What is the California Fiduciary Bureau?

This is the group of individuals who are hired by the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs to issue licenses and monitor compliance with the rules and regulations known as the California Business and Professions Code. Here is a link to their website so that you can learn more about this governmental agency.

What is the Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC)?

This is an organization that is primarily made up of California Licensed Professional Fiduciaries for the purpose of education, training, and access to issues that are of concern to the members. Membership in this organization is voluntary, so licensees are not required to participate. Access to PFAC, however, means access to educational programs, discounts by vendors, and an informal mentorship. Here is a link to their website so that you can learn more about this organization.