As has been mentioned in other articles on this site, in 1990 California set up a special, registered category for “professional fiduciaries.” These are individuals who meet many stringent requirements and can then act as fiduciaries in connection with trusts, conservatorships, guardianships and other matters. Individuals, who were previously acting for various non-relatives, were limited on the number of persons and categories they could represent. No limitations were placed on fiduciaries who were acting for someone related to them by blood, marriage, adoption or registered domestic partnership.
The Professional Fiduciaries Bureau was created in the California Department of Consumer Affairs. They were to examine and license individuals to allow them to become professional fiduciaries and handle trusts, conservatorships, guardianships, powers of attorney and health care matters.
To be a professional fiduciary, the individual must meet all of the following requirements:
- Be 21 years of age or older.
- Not have committed any criminal or civil acts (defined) which would disqualify the applicant.
- Submit fingerprints for criminal check.
- Completed 30 hours of pre-licensing educational courses.
- Pass a licensing exam.
- Have a bachelor’s degree, associate of arts degree and three years experience, or five year experience as a fiduciary including working for a public agency or financial institution.
- File an application and pay the required fee.
- Subscribe to a code of ethics for professional fiduciaries.
After qualifying, the professional fiduciary must renew his or her license annually and complete 15 hours of educational courses annually. The fiduciary must submit detailed reports on clients to the Professional Fiduciary Bureau annually.