What is a professional fiduciary? Why do I need one?

Senior couple looking at computer together.
Grandfather and grandson saving money in a piggy bank.

A professional fiduciary is someone serving in a position of trust, who has a legal and moral obligation to act in good faith and for the benefit of the person with whose interest they have been entrusted.

 

Lotus Fiduciary Services Inc. is a professional fiduciary firm who takes over the financial affairs of people who cannot or do not want to handle them. We can do that in one of four ways, by being named or appointed as any of the following:

TRUSTEE │ named in a private contract by the creator of the trust, to administer or manage the trust and its assets.

AGENT UNDER FINANCIAL POWER OF ATTORNEY (POA) │ named in a private contract, gives the agent specific or general financial powers; ceases to exist when the creator passes away.

CONSERVATOR │ appointed by and overseen by a court to administer an individual’s assets – is the most restrictive arrangement and often the last resort.

PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE (EXECUTOR) OF A DECEASED PERSONS ESTATE │ is named in a will or trust to administer or manage the estate of a deceased person.​​

What does it mean to “take over the financial affairs” of someone?

It means we step into the shoes of the individual whom we serve and perform any or all of the following services as necessary:

  • Daily money management – we pay peoples bills and manage their cash flow.

  • Work with the financial advisor, who manages and invests their money.

  • Preparation and filing of all tax returns, including but not limited to, personal income, corporate, trust and/or estate tax returns; includes the payment of taxes owed or collection of refunds due.

  • Ensure proper insurance is in place – health, property & casualty (home and auto), liability (business), and umbrella, life & annuities (investments).

  • Manage real property – provide oversight of any real estate owned by the person or estate. Includes: coordinating repairs and maintenance, collecting rent, paying taxes, etc.

  • Work with medical power of attorney/guardian/care manager – to ensure health and personal needs are met.

Lotus Fiduciary acts as the "quarterback" to coordinate & oversee the work done by professional advisors to our clients.

What to consider when preparing your life, health and estate plan:

  • At what age or point in your life should you start to work with professional fiduciaries, both financial and medical?

  • Can a fiduciary firm serve as your personal representative, trustees and/or POA?

  • When would a fiduciary firm be unable to serve?

  • What happens if you become ill or suffer from memory loss?

  • What happens at your time of death?

  • What does your family have to do?

  • What if some of your family members need assistance managing their affairs?