Fiduciary

FAQ's - Public Fiduciary

Why is a Guardian appointed to an adult? The court may appoint a guardian if it finds the person is incapacitated and the appointment is necessary to provide continuing care and supervision of the person. 

What does incapacitated mean? Arizona statutes define an incapacitated person as follows: Any person who is impaired by reason of mental illness, mental deficiency, mental disorder, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication or other cause, except minority, to the extent that he lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning his person. 

Why is a Conservator appointed to an adult? The Court may appoint a conservator if it finds: (1) the person is unable to manage his property and affairs effectively for reasons such as mental illness, mental deficiency, mental disorder, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, confinement, detention by a foreign power or disappearance, and (2) the person has property which will be wasted or dissipated unless proper management is provided, or that funds are needed for the support, care and welfare of the person or those entitled to be supported by him and that protection is necessary or desirable to obtain or provide funds.

Is a Durable Power of an attorney for medical decisions the same as a Guardian? No, a guardian usually has more authority than an agent under a durable power of attorney.  However, the proper use of a Durable Power of Attorney may prevent or delay the need for a guardian/conservator.

Are fiduciaries certified?  Effective April 1, 1999 professional fiduciaries cannot be appointed by the Court to serve as a guardian, conservator or personal representative unless they are certified with the Supreme Court.  Certification requirements include posting a bond, furnishing a full set of fingerprints and passing a criminal background check, meeting educational and experience requirements and passing an examination.  Professional fiduciaries are required to maintain continuing education requirements.  A list of professional fiduciaries that are currently registered with the Arizona Supreme Court may be obtained through the Fiduciary Certification Program's website:  www.supreme.state.az.us/fiduc .