Frequently asked questions

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What is a "Fiduciary"?

The dictionary defines Fiduciary as “involving trust, especially with regard to the relationship between a trustee and a beneficiary.” However, a Fiduciary is much more than that. A Fiduciary is a person who holds a legal or ethical relation of trust with someone else. Fiduciaries can be individuals or institutions (such as a bank or trust company). Fiduciaries are known to be named in documents such as a Power of Attorney, Will, Healthcare Surrogate or Trust to serve in a trusted, confidential, and competent manner.  Typically, a Fiduciary prudently takes care of money or other assets for another person. Depending on the specific provisions of the document, a Fiduciary may be responsible for financial management, health-care decision making, asset protection, distributions, tax and estate planning, and management of family dynamics. A Fiduciary must act with the highest level of integrity, transparency and honesty. Most importantly, a Fiduciary must be aware of the legal duties required in the document and provide accurate accounting and communication with the appropriate parties. 

How do you know if you, or someone you know, needs a fiduciary?

  •    They can’t keep up with their financial obligations or are starting to neglect their health.

•    They are struggling and distracted by grief over the loss of a loved one.

•    They have difficulty saying “no” and make decisions that are not in their best interest because it is the easy way out.

•    They are having second thoughts about the suitability of the person they named as trustee in their trust or as personal representative in their will.

•    They are concerned that naming a family member as trustee or personal representative may cause friction within the family.

•    They do not have a sizable enough estate to involve the services of a corporate trustee.

•    They need a trustee to administer an individual or family trust, litigation settlement, special needs trust, or a charitable remainder trust.

•    They are concerned that their estate will not be administered in the way that they want.

Do you have a consultation fee?

I provide a free consultation or personal introduction. Before you decide to use my services as a Fiduciary, I feel it is important that you or your loved one develop the necessary confidence and comfort that I am a good fit. Furthermore, I will always provide the opportunity to meet personally, or I will visit your loved one personally, to develop the necessary trust and connection to have a successful relationship going forward.

What are your fees?

My fees are generally based on an hourly fee schedule depending on the level of service and the needs of the client. In some cases, my fees are based on a percentage of the assets under management. Please contact us to discuss the appropriate fee arrangement that will work for you or your family.

How do your services differ from those offered by a bank or trust company?

The services that I provide are much the same as those offered by a corporate fiduciary (bank or trust company) but with more of a personal touch. As a fiduciary, I can consider requests that many corporate fiduciaries would feel uncomfortable with. For example, I once had a client that owned several rental properties and he wished for his fiduciary trustee to retain the properties after his death so that his beneficiaries would continue to receive the income from the rents. The client named a corporate fiduciary and they were reluctant to retain possession of the real estate for any length of time and worked quickly to sell the real estate to diminish any potential liability. As a fiduciary, I would have more flexibility to consider the clients desire and those of their beneficiaries.