Many retirees opt to spend their late years in sunny Arizona—even if that means forgoing a local family support network. Recognizing this, Arizona probate courts appoint fiduciaries to serve as personal representatives, or even guardians or conservators, in the event of diminishing capacity.
Entrusted By The Court
The Arizona Fiduciaries Association explains that both public fiduciaries and fiduciaries in private practice must be licensed by the Arizona Supreme Court and are regulated by the Administrative Office of the Courts. Whether public or private, the essential duty of a fiduciary is to accept responsibility “for taking care of the needs or property of another person for the benefit of that person…The person served by a fiduciary places trust in the fiduciary to manage his or her affairs solely for his or her benefit and not for the fiduciary’s benefit. The element of trust becomes crucial when the person receiving services is frail, vulnerable and incapacitated.”
In Arizona, licensed fiduciaries in private practice can serve as guardians, conservators, trustees, representative payees, agents under powers of attorney or estate representatives. Fiduciaries are not home or health caregivers, but may be called upon to arrange for these kinds of services as needed. What if a fiduciary is needed but cannot be privately arranged? That’s when the public fiduciary system becomes essential. Arizona Fiduciaries Association explains:
Each county in Arizona has a probate court which is part of the state’s superior court system. The probate court appoints fiduciaries to serve as guardians for incapacitated persons, conservators for persons whose assets require protection, and personal representatives for the administration of decedents’ estates…The public fiduciary is considered the “fiduciary of last resort” when there is no one else willing or capable of serving. Fees for services charged by public fiduciaries and their staffs must be approved by the court and are paid by the estate. Fees may be deferred, waived, or reduced if the ward’s estate has insufficient funds.
Given the significant trust placed in fiduciaries, they are often required to secure fiduciary bonds. Essentially, a fiduciary bond serves as a guarantee that the fiduciary will act in accordance with all applicable state laws. Depending on circumstances and region, fiduciary bonds can also be referred to as administrator, conservator, guardianship, probate or personal representative bonds. Learn more about any of these bonds here. As a leading, national and direct bond writer, Colonial Surety helps fiduciaries in every state quickly and affordably obtain bonds that meet the specific requirements of the obligee. The steps to obtaining a bond with Colonial are easy: get a quote online, fill in the information, and enter a payment method. Print or e-file the bond from anywhere, anytime—even while at probate court.
Nice To Know
Signals reports that Pima County Arizona recently appointed a new public fiduciary, lawyer, Justin Cluck, who had this to say about the role:
“I am humbled to be appointed to this position and look forward to serving the citizens of Pima County who are in need,” Cluck said. “I have spent my entire legal career advocating for the poor, the less fortunate, and those who have been ignored or victimized. I am eager to use that same zeal to advocate for the clients of the public fiduciary…The office of the public fiduciary has always been a shining example of good government in Pima County, and I plan to maintain and improve that legacy…My first priority is to serve the citizens of Pima County who have no one else ready or willing to help them in their times of greatest need.”
Across the country, lawyers find that partnering with Colonial Surety Company speeds up the process whenever courts require fiduciary bonds or court bonds.
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Founded in 1930, Colonial Surety Company is a direct writer of a wide range of bonds and insurance products. Colonial is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company, U.S. Treasury listed, and licensed for business everywhere in the USA.