What is a Fiduciary?
A Fiduciary is someone who accepts the responsibility of handling the personal and/or financial affairs of a client solely for the benefit of that client.
The client places trust in the Fiduciary to manage their affairs, taking into consideration the preferences and desires of the client.
In Arizona, a person serving as a Fiduciary for a fee must be licensed by the Arizona Supreme Court, and is governed by state law. To become licensed, a Fiduciary must meet certain eligibility requirements, complete training, pass a test, post a bond, be fingerprinted, and pass credit and criminal background checks. A Licensed Fiduciary is also required to attend continuing education courses and renew licensing every two years.
A fiduciary may serve in a variety of roles, and may be appointed by the court or serve under contractual agreement. A fiduciary may also be named in estate planning documents to provide future service at the time the client becomes unable to manage their affairs or passes away.
If court appointed, a Fiduciary may be required to post a bond and report annually to the court regarding the administration of the client’s affairs. In these cases, the fees charged by the Fiduciary are subject to court approval.
A Fiduciary may also be court appointed to administer the estate of a deceased person or serve as trustee of a trust. The Fiduciary is responsible to identify, inventory, and protect all of the assets; pay bills and review claims; determine and locate all of the heirs and beneficiaries; pay administrative costs; prepare tax returns; and distribute the assets according to the terms of the will or trust or according to state law.
Assisting Retirees and Families
An increasing number of retirees are moving to Arizona, leaving behind family and support services that they have relied upon for most of their lives. Many new services have developed in Arizona to assist with the special needs of clients.
Working with CFS
The role of the Fiduciary is guided by the specific needs of the client. While someone may simply need assistance with bookkeeping, another person may require a variety of services. Certified Fiduciary Services will design, implement, and monitor a personalized plan that enables each client to maintain dignity and independence as long as possible.