The Public Fiduciary is appointed by the County Board of Supervisors and the office is administered in accordance with state statutes. Under state law, professional and public fiduciaries must be registered with the Arizona Supreme Court in order to be eligible for court appointment as Guardian, Conservator, or Personal Representative.
The Public Fiduciary assumes these functions for individuals who have been determined to be unable to handle their own personal business affairs, when there are no relatives or other qualified individuals willing or able to serve. Clients are charged reasonable fees for fiduciary services, if sufficient funds are available.
What is a Fiduciary?
A fiduciary is someone who accepts the responsibility for taking care of the needs or property of another person for the benefit of that person. They also protect them from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The fiduciary serves in a role of trust.
Roles in Which Fiduciaries Serve
A Guardian is a person appointed by the probate court to ensure that the personal and medical needs of an incapacitated person are met. A person is determined by the court to be incapacitated when he or she lacks sufficient understanding or "capacity" to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning his or her daily living needs.
A Conservator is a person appointed by the probate court to manage the financial affairs of someone who is determined by the court to be unable to manage their own finances or property. The conservator manages the assets of the protected person for his or her benefit under the court's supervision. Each year the conservator must file an annual accounting with the court and receive the court's approval. The annual accounting must show all receipts and disbursements made during the year.
A Personal Representative is a person appointed by the probate court to administer the estate of a person who is deceased. The personal representative may be named in a will or may be appointed by the court if there is no will. The personal representative is responsible for inventorying and protecting all assets of the estate, paying outstanding claims and charges associated with administering the estate and locating all of the heirs and beneficiaries, for the purpose of distributing the remaining assets.