The fiduciary of your choice should be someone you can trust in a situation when you cannot trust yourself. A fiduciary can function like an addendum to your will, to protect you and your assets in case you encounter an accident, become mentally or physically disabled, or need additional care in your daily routine. It is best to delegate these responsibilities to someone after your will is completed and you are still able to make these decisions. Completing these preparations ahead of time will guarantee that you and your loved ones will be provided for. Setting up a fiduciary now will maintain estate plans efficiently, will minimize possible squabbles about assets within a family, and prevent lengthy probate cases.
Perhaps you feel comfortable nominating a family member to be your guardian. Before you do so, consider that family members are intimately involved in your affairs and may seek to question your wishes instead of following your directions. A legal battle would ensue and your family could be torn apart by conflict; each member may have their own ideas about your true intentions and they might question the reason behind you choosing a particular path. In cases of being the parent of an only child, this might be an easy choice. But there are still other factors to think about: Does my guardian live nearby? Are they able to take care of their own responsibilities and commitments while shouldering mine as well?
If the answer is yes, then their guardianship could very well be a good choice. However, since the average person has their own daily obligations, a professional fiduciary may be more beneficial because they are able to remain impartial, allowing them to make difficult decisions in reasonable ways.
Professional fiduciaries are an easier choice for numerous reasons. Not only are they usually licensed professionals in the community, they are also not likely to be biased when they handle your affairs, and eventually your estate. For example, lawyers are often dealing with sensitive confidential information that ensure assets are divided under an individual’s wishes. They also are allowed to petition the court to appoint a guardian if they see that the family is having trouble taking care of the elderly person. The courts allow this process to protect elders. Professional fiduciaries also require more qualifications and are put under the scrutiny of the law.
You can choose your conservator or professional fiduciary today. As you look to appoint your professional fiduciary, take the time to ask for references so you get to know the person that will handle your affairs and place you in the best care. Mastanduno Law Group is happy to tell you more about their experiences with guardianships and probate cases to ensure a plan that goes beyond your will.