Even when you’re surrounded by loving family and friends, you may not have anyone you can trust with your finances. Whether you’re setting up a will, trust, financial power of attorney or other legal relationship, a professional fiduciary can step in as executor, trustee or power of attorney.
What is a fiduciary?
A fiduciary is a person who manages the legal and financial obligations of a will, trust, power of attorney or other legal entity. Fiduciaries have a strict legal duty to act in the best interests of beneficiaries and/or any other applicable parties. They are also obligated to carry out the terms of the will, trust or power of attorney as written.
Benefits of hiring a professional fiduciary
Anyone can be appointed a fiduciary, but it’s important to choose wisely: you are essentially giving them power over your finances and assets. Even beloved relatives can be terrible at managing money and time. Professional fiduciaries may be your best option.
- Neutral third party: When you hire a professional fiduciary, you’ll entrust your assets to a neutral third party. Some clients choose professional fiduciaries because they feel unable to trust family or friends with significant assets. Others may worry that choosing one family member over another will create conflict. Having a neutral party step in can save you and your family from tension.
- Strict code of ethics: Fiduciaries are legally bound to act according to the will, trust or power of attorney terms, and in the best interests of any beneficiaries. If they mismanage their responsibilities—even accidentally—they may be subject to legal consequences. Hiring a professional fiduciary ensures that they have a vested interest in acting according to your wishes. It could jeopardize their business to do otherwise.
- Familiarity with legal and financial proceedings: Perhaps the best reason to hire a professional is that they are more likely to be familiar with complicated estate planning and trust administration requirements. Avoid mismanagement concerns by choosing a pro.
- Peace of mind: Finally, working with a professional fiduciary can provide peace of mind. You’ll rest assured knowing that your estate is in good hands, and your loved ones will remain conflict-free.
Not all estates require a professional fiduciary. James Bart Leonardi, LLC can help you make savvy estate planning choices, from appointing fiduciaries to creating complex trusts. Call our office today to set up a consultation. We look forward to answering all your fiduciary-related questions.