fiduciary duty for your business

Why You Need a Fiduciary

Estate planning is crucial for managing and distributing your assets according to your wishes. However, many Americans procrastinate on setting up an estate plan, often due to discomfort or misconceptions about the process. Without a living trust, your assets may undergo probate—a costly and time-consuming procedure. Including a professional fiduciary in your estate plan can significantly reduce these complications and ensure that your affairs are handled efficiently and impartially.

A fiduciary is a licensed, certified professional who can manage your estate, make healthcare decisions, and handle everyday financial tasks. They act in your best interest, providing expertise and continuity in decision-making. This is especially important when family members are unavailable, live far away, or lack the necessary skills to manage your estate.

How to Find a Private Licensed Fiduciary in California

Choosing the right fiduciary is a critical step in your estate planning process. Here’s a detailed guide on how to find a qualified private licensed fiduciary in California:

1. Seek Referrals

Start by asking your estate planning attorney for referrals. Estate planners often work with fiduciaries and can recommend professionals who are reputable and experienced. This is one of the most reliable ways to find a fiduciary who has already been vetted by a legal professional.

2. Use Online Resources

The Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC) offers an online search tool that allows you to filter fiduciaries by location, specialty, and language Fiduciary Search ( This resource can be particularly useful if you have specific requirements, such as needing a fiduciary who speaks a certain language or has expertise in managing special needs trusts.

3. Conduct a Background Check

Before hiring a fiduciary, verify their credentials through the California Department of Consumer Affairs (Search – DCA). Ensure that their license is valid and check for any disciplinary actions. This step is crucial to confirm that the fiduciary meets the state’s stringent qualifications and maintains professional standards.

4. Seek Professional References

Ask potential fiduciaries for references from attorneys, CPAs, and former clients. Speaking to these references can provide insights into the fiduciary’s competency, reliability, and work ethic. Look for feedback on their ability to handle complex situations, their communication skills, and their overall professionalism.

why is a fiduciary important

5. Interview Potential Fiduciaries

Interviewing fiduciaries is essential to assess their compatibility with you and your family. During the interview, discuss their experience, fees, policies, and how they handle various scenarios. Ensure that their personality and communication style align with yours, as a good relationship is crucial for effective collaboration. Involve family members in these interviews to gain their perspectives and ensure everyone is comfortable with the chosen fiduciary.

6. Consider Their Expertise and Specialization

Different fiduciaries may specialize in different areas, such as managing special needs trusts, handling large estates, or focusing on healthcare decisions. Make sure the fiduciary you choose has the specific expertise that matches your needs. This is particularly important if your estate has unique requirements that need specialized knowledge.

7. Assess Their Accessibility and Availability

A fiduciary’s availability is crucial for timely decision-making and management of your affairs. During the interview, inquire about their caseload and how accessible they are for meetings and emergencies. A fiduciary who is too busy may not be able to provide the attention your estate requires.


Selecting a private licensed fiduciary is a vital part of estate planning that can provide peace of mind and ensure your assets are managed according to your wishes. By seeking referrals, using online resources, conducting background checks, and interviewing potential candidates, you can find a fiduciary who is well-qualified and a good fit for you and your family.

For assistance in deciding whether to use a professional fiduciary and finding the right one for your needs, schedule a consultation with Paladin Fiduciary Services, LLC. Contact us today at 707-582-3181 so we can take the next steps together.