Broker Check

Fiduciary Services

To learn more, click What is a Professional Trustee?

Since inception of our firm we have kept a commitment to meeting the needs of individual clients. Fiduciary services have become a critical component of that commitment. Consequently, we offer a distinctive blend of paralegal, tax, finance and fiduciary services. By integrating the responsibility of managing client assets as trustee or executor with our investment and tax knowledge, we have been able to play a constructive role for many families. Area of practice falls into three categories:

  • Professional Trust Administration
    We will act as a non-corporate trustee, co-trustee or successor trustee for a full range of trusts: testamentary, living, life insurance, charitable and special needs trusts. Trust assets are managed with the judgment and care required by the Prudent Investor Act. Unlike banks and trust companies, when we are acting in a fiduciary capacity, we do not also provide investment management services as principal, broker or agent.
  • Probate Estate Administration
    When serving as executor or special administrator, we bring to the position significant knowledge in probate procedures, fiduciary accounting and estate tax.
  • Elder Services
    We can assist informally with financial management such as bill paying, balancing the checkbook and coordination of caregivers. A Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) allows us to continue managing finances or health matters if the client becomes disabled. Clients are accepted at various stages of the aging process; however we can provide our best advisory services by establishing relationships early on in order to provide effective planning for later needs. We encourage prospective clients to establish relationships with us now and maintain a long term relationship which enables us not only to plan ahead, but to monitor those plans over time.

What is a Professional Trustee?

The fiduciary as trustee has the responsibility of carrying out the terms of the trust as set forth in a trust instrument. A trust can be created by the language found in a will or in a document created during life. If the former, it is a testamentary trust; if the latter, it is a living trust. The trustee is usually a person named by the creator of the trust document. In many cases, the trustee cannot carry out his or her duties, either because of incapacity or death. If there is no named trustee who can serve, the court has the responsibility of appointing a trustee, usually someone who is nominated by the trust beneficiaries.

Trustee duties can include funding the trust with appropriate assets, investing the trust according to the Prudent Investor Rule as set forth in the Probate Code, filing income tax returns for the trust and making distributions in accordance with state law and the trust terms.

Criteria to consider in selecting a trustee:

  • Integrity:  Trustees must exercise a high degree of care to consider both the  current and remainder beneficiaries.
  • Investment Management Capability:  Sound investment judgment, prudence  and discretion come only with experience.
  • Accounting and Tax Expertise: Trustees must be knowledgeable about  complex tax, legal and accounting requirements.
  • Stability and Continuity:  Professional trustees should be able to serve for the  entire term of the trust.
  • Impartiality and Sensitivity:  Trustee must never be compromised in performing  duties and serving beneficiaries.