Those who are going through the estate planning process in the Tucson area may have heard the term “fiduciary”. A fiduciary can be an important member of the estate planning team. But a person may wonder what a fiduciary is and what do they do?
A fiduciary is a person who has a legal or ethical relationship with another person. They typically have a professional obligation to advise a person in matters of law, finances or property. In estate planning, they have an obligation to provide the highest level of advice and service to their client. They have an obligation to the client and not to the beneficiaries of an estate.
Estate planning has some different types of fiduciaries:
- Attorney. An attorney has a fiduciary duty to their client and has advanced training and education to provide these services to their client.
- Executor. An executor of an estate is a named person who handles an individual’s estate and wishes after their death. The executor is in charge of probating the will, paying off any debts and administrative expenses, collecting and distributing assets, and filing tax returns.
- Trustee. A trustee is a person who is in charge of managing the assets of a trust. They decide how to invest the assets, report regularly to the trust’s beneficiaries, and distribute the trust’s funds.
- Durable power of attorney. This person is authorized to act on an individual’s behalf with financial matters. They can receive payments, make account transactions, or make gifts to others.
An attorney who specializes in fiduciary estate planning can provide the best advice for their client’s unique situation. They can talk with their client about their fiduciary responsibilities and how they can help as a full-service fiduciary law firm.