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Estate Planning: 4 Common Questions About Fiduciaries

Posted on Tue May 21, 2019, on Estate Planning

Estate Lawyer in Allentown, PA: Common Questions About Fiduciaries

Common Questions About Fiduciaries

Estate Planning Lawyer Kelly Barse answers Common Questions About Fiduciaries.

Sometimes, estate planning can be a challenge, especially if the primary holder of real estate and other assets is not capable of making sound decisions due to illness or advanced age. Under these circumstances, it is usually necessary to name a fiduciary, a person who legally takes over the management of another’s finances and, in some cases, their general well-being. An attorney can help you understand how to navigate this process by answering a few common questions that are often asked by those who are facing fiduciary duties. Let’s address Common Questions About Fiduciaries:

  1. Who Can Be a Fiduciary?

Almost anyone can assume fiduciary duties when estate planning is needed. However, it is usually the grown child of an elderly parent or grandparent. A spouse may also be a fiduciary if his or her partner has endured a brain injury and cannot make rational decisions. Most adults can become fiduciaries, as long as they are willing to accept responsibility.

  1. Who Names a Fiduciary?

Common Questions About Fiduciaries include, who names such a person?  Everyone may need to name a fiduciary.  We all age, get ill and eventually die.  Typically, this applies in the event they become unable to speak or make decisions regarding assets. Families can also agree on who will overtake this duty on behalf of an elderly relative. For example, what if an aging aunt must be moved to a nursing facility and is suffering from a degenerative brain disease like Alzheimer’s? The family can agree that her closest living relative, such as a niece or nephew, will assume the fiduciary position with the court’s approval.

  1. What Are the Duties?

If you find yourself in the role of a fiduciary, you may want to hire an attorney.  Most fiduciaries are granted the power to gain advice.  This includes hiring professionals such as accountants, realtors, and attorneys. There are several different responsibilities to take on.  So, it is important that you follow the laws of your state carefully to ensure you are fulfilling your role properly. One of the main responsibilities is to ensure that any management decisions you make are in the best interest of the individual whose assets you hold. This means providing funds for their medical and personal care.  But not blindly. Instead, provide funds to the best of your abilities and as much as their assets allow.

  1. Does a Fiduciary Benefit From the Position?

States may restrict a fiduciary from profiting from their situation.  Using the power granted to better a business position, or to procure a property is a conflict of interest. Some individuals may grant the fiduciary specific benefits. But, it is a good idea to lay these out explicitly, in writing, beforehand.

The responsibilities of a fiduciary can be extensive.  Further, the rules are often puzzling, especially if you have never been in such a position before. Call an estate lawyer in Allentown, PA from Klenk Law to learn more about your rights and responsibilities and to gain peace of mind regarding your new duties.

Common Questions About Fiduciaries:

We hope you found this article useful!  These are some of the Common Questions About Fiduciaries, but there are others! Please contact with any questions you may have.


Fiduciary Duty, Kelly Barse

Peter KlenkPeter Klenk

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