Why, When and How:
Written by: Dean A. Romo and Matthew M. DeWeese
Professional fiduciaries have been around for years but had not been widely utilized until recently. There are a variety of reasons that you may want to consider acquiring the assistance of a Professional Fiduciary and here are some of those reasons,
· If you have a developmental/physical disability that prevents from handing your own affairs.
· During periods of illness or after a hospital stay.
· After the death of a spouse or family member.
· If you have trouble seeing your checkbook.
· When you’re paying late fees on bills and bank fees for bounced checks.
· When you can’t keep up with all the medical insurance paperwork.
· When you can’t find anything because the appropriate files haven’t been set up.
· If you suffer from Alzheimer’s/dementia, arthritis, multiple sclerosis or a brain injury.
· If you do not have family/ friends to handle these affairs for you.
· If you do not want your family involved in you financial affairs.
When: There are an estimated 80 million individuals born between 1946-1964 that make up the Baby Boomer generation and on average 7,000 of them are retiring every day and will continue to do so for the next 17 years. As this generation becomes older, the potential need to for professional fiduciaries becomes greater. The effects of aging, mental disabilities and illness, physical disabilities, exploitation and frequent traveling are only a few of the reasons why people may need to get their assistance.
Services: A professional fiduciary can provide basic bookkeeping, bill payment, budgeting, organization of paperwork and sorting through mail, personal execution of the wishes of your will, powers of attorney, daily money management, representative payee for social security benefits, conservatorships – if an individual is unable to make decisions on their own, insurance claims assistance, and for advocacy and coordination of your care.
Benefits: As you can see, there are variety of reasons why you would utilize a professional fiduciary and there are equally as many benefits. Here are a few; prevent and stop financial exploitation and abuse, reduce the stress of paying your bills and sorting through paperwork, peace of mind knowing that a professional is handling your affairs, prevent heat, water, electricity & phone from being shut off due to non-payment, prevent late fees and bank fees, and reduce family conflicts by having an unbiased party representing your best interest.
How: If you find yourself in need of help, the bottom line is that you are going to have to trust somebody and why not get someone who is licensed, conservative, and impartial to represent you and your wishes? Do some research online, investigate their background, read their testimonials and interview their clients. Just like every professional, all things being equal, you will want to find someone that you like and have a good feeling about. For more information, contact our office and we will point you in the right direction to a licensed professional fiduciary near you.