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Finding A Fiduciary: 3 Easy Steps

By Angie Krantz on Nov 21, 2016 at 10:54 PM in Santa Barbara Fiduciary News

Finding a Fiduciary: 3 Easy Steps

Finding the right person to take care of your property, finances, daily care, housing and medical needs is one of the most important decisions one will make in their lifetime. Naturally, one might think that naming one of their children is the best option. However, naming one's child for this role is often not optimal for a number of reasons. Commonly, conflict arises among family members when a child is appointed as fiduciary. Family members, including siblings, frequently have trouble communicating with one another, and remaining completely objective. A lot of times, those closest to us disagree over division of personal property, medical care, the selling of assets, and how long the estate should take to complete.

An increasing option is to hire a professional fiduciary. These trusted professionals are experienced in managing finances, personal care, medical care, and preserving assets. Because it can be daunting to enlist an outside source with your personal, medical, and financial matters, there are 3 essential steps to ensure you hire a trustworthy fiduciary.

1. Locate three licensed professional fiduciaries.

A simple Google search of "fiduciaries" in your locale will generate a sufficient list of candidates. From there, go to to verify that those named are licensed, as well as discovering if they have had any disciplinary actions taken against them. Once you have confirmed the legitimacy of the fiduciaries, call to make an appointment with each of them.

2. Prepare a list of questions for the interview.

Come ready to interview with a list of questions for each perspective fiduciary. The following inquiries are a great place to start:

  • What type of services do you provide?
  • Are you licensed, bonded and insured?
  • What are your office hours?
  • Do you work alone or have staff?
  • In case of an emergency, how can I reach you or your staff?
  • How do you protect your clients' confidential information?
  • Do you have a disaster recovery plan for clients' data?
  • What are your fees? When do you collect payment?
  • How often do you provide accounting?
  • Can you recommend other professionals  (CPAs, attorneys, caregivers)? What are their fees?
  • What happens to your clients if something happens to you? What is your succession plan?

3. Ask the prospective fiduciaries for references.

Request references from past or current clients, and other professionals such as accountants and attorneys. It's an easy way to determine what type of customer service and professionalism you can expect, as well as determining their strengths and weaknesses. For more information on finding a fiduciary, please contact us at 805.804.3131