Welcome Wisdom

What role does a Fiduciary play in the aging process? 

by Gail Arno, CMC, ECM Director of Care Management

A fiduciary is an individual who holds a legal or ethical relationship of trust with one or more other parties. They are placed in a position of legal trust on behalf of another individual or group.  At times, professional fiduciaries are appointed by courts to serve in a range of roles. A fiduciary is a person to whom property or power is entrusted for the benefit of another. Some financial advisors are fiduciaries, obligated by law to act in their client’s best interests as they manage their assets. Rather than operating out of self-interest, a fiduciary advisor is obligated to make recommendations that benefit their recipient. 

In the State of California, fiduciaries are required to go through course training that includes professional standards and processes, asset management, ethics and investment, health directives, and record keeping. Additionally, they are required to complete continuing education classes to keep abreast of changing laws and regulations within their industry. In California, they are under the wing of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  

Often, our Care Managers find themselves working closely with fiduciaries and conservators, supporting them as they navigate the responsibility they are charged with when they are either appointed or chosen to act as fiduciaries to their clients.  We offer support to complement the efforts that the fiduciary is charged with as we collaborate to manage the clients’ well-being. Elder Care Management is often engaged to advance the psychosocial support that a client might need, to assist in managing the circumstances surrounding the lives of the fiduciary’s client.  We fully recognize the position of the fiduciary and their efforts to put the best interests of the client at the forefront.

Upon direction from the fiduciary, our Care Managers assess the client’s additional needs and provide the support and implement the systems to enhance the client’s personal life, home environment, social engagement, and caregiving support within their current living situation. We support the client with additional services that meet the wants and wishes of the client providing them with the extra efforts to help them feel served from all angles of the process of aging. The fiduciary will primarily focus on the assets, finances, and medical world of the client. We then in turn will focus on the many other avenues of life that need addressing and bolstering to successfully manage the aging journey. Likewise, we often turn to our trusted fiduciary partners to assist in managing this aspect of our clients’ lives when it is evident they need this additional guidance. It is a pleasure to partner with our trusted fiduciary services to maximize the absolute best outcomes for our mutual clients.