A fiduciary is a person who is entrusted to take action on behalf of another person or entity and is legally obligated to act in the best interest of the beneficiary of that person or entity. In estate planning, a fiduciary may be a trustee, executor, guardian, conservator or agent under a financial or medical power of attorney. Responsibilities of fiduciaries may include tasks such as prudently investing assets, administering an estate, caring for a minor or person unable to care for him or herself ,or making important medical decisions on another’s behalf.
Sometimes, as in the case of a revocable living trust, you will act as your own fiduciary, as you will be the trustee of the trust and also the beneficiary. However, when you are no longer able or willing to act as trustee, you must select someone else to do so. If you do not, depending upon the terms of the trust, a court may be required to do so.
Choosing a fiduciary is an important decision to make and one that should be carefully thought out. A fiduciary should be someone you trust, but also someone that is well equipped for the tasks that will be required of him or her. You may choose different fiduciaries for different types of relationships. For example, many people choose to name a fiscally responsible person to manage their property while naming another person with whom they may have a stronger emotional relationship with to manage their healthcare decisions. Sometimes, other people choose to name a person with whom they have no personal relationship with to act as fiduciary. This may be a professional or corporate fiduciary.
Whatever your circumstances are, it is important that you have the right estate planning documents in place, naming fiduciaries that will be best able to carry out your wishes in an effective and responsible manner. Chauvel & Glatt can assist you in making these crucial decisions. To set up a time to speak to our knowledgeable estate planners, please call 650-573-9500.
The material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute, legal advice or promise similar outcomes. For information on your particular circumstances, please contact Chauvel & Glatt at 650-573-9500. (Photo Credit 123rf.com).