What is a fiduciary?
A fiduciary is a person or entity with the affirmative duty and responsibility to act as a substitute decision maker in the best interest of another. The fiduciary must act with loyalty and care. The recipient of this duty relies on the fiduciary, placing his or her confidence, reliance and trust in the fiduciary. A fiduciary relationship may be created either by agreement of the parties (e.g., through a Trust) or imposed through the Courts (e.g., Conservatorship or Guardianship). The initiation for such a proceeding may come through family members or friends, a care-giving facility, or at the insistence of a protective services agency. Alternatively, an individual or family member can choose a future fiduciary through the appropriate estate-planning document (Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney and/or Health Care Proxy).
The fiduciary may be responsible for all aspects of substitute decision-making or his/her powers may be limited. These decisions may include consenting to medical treatment, assessing the appropriateness of a living situation, determining the need for and identity of care givers, and providing financial management of the assets.
Fiduciary Services: Personal and Financial Decision-Making by a Substitute Decision Maker
Fiduciary services involve the designation of a substitute decision-maker to manage the personal and/or financial affairs for the benefit of another individual. The fiduciary may be a Guardian, Conservator, Trustee, Health Care Agent or an Attorney-in-Fact. Our firm specializes in providing these professional fiduciary services. Attorney Baum often is appointed by the court to act as Guardian or Conservator, sometimes individually and other times, as co-fiduciary, side by side with a family member of the incapacitated individual. Often, family members prefer that an objective qualified professional act as Guardian for their loved one in order to maintain the purity of the familial relationship.
Our firm serves incapacitated persons, elders and their families in a personal and professional manner. Attorney Baum acts as the personal fiduciary for individuals with many different challenges and circumstances.