The Stan Butterfield law firm offers a service that is not common to very many law firms. Stan acts as the fiduciary for people that otherwise may not have anyone to help them watch out for their interests.
A fiduciary is a person that holds a position of trust that requires them to protect the best personal or property interests of others. The duty of a fiduciary requires them to look after the interests of the person they are protecting in a way even greater than they look after their own interests. A fiduciary is asked to be a substitute in making decisions for a person needing protection; these decisions may involve finances, living conditions, or medical treatment.
A fiduciary is necessary when a person is no longer able to speak for their self or is incapable of rationally making decisions or managing their own affairs.
If a person is planning for incapacity or death in the future and determining who they trust to carry out their wishes they may appoint the fiduciary years before the fiduciary will act in the role. The person doing the planning may name who they want to be the fiduciary in a will, a trust, a power of attorney or some other planning document. A court may also appoint a fiduciary after a person has already lost the ability to make decisions or to speak for their self through disability or death.
Many people do not have family or friends that can fill the role of their fiduciary. This can be because family and friends do not exist or they do exist but are unable to function as a decision maker. This impediment may be due to many things such as a bankruptcy or a criminal record. Sometimes the person planning chooses Stan as fiduciary because they don’t want to put too great a burden on family who could fill this role. An example would include a situation where the person planning knows someone who may benefit under a trust or a will that would make unreasonable demands on a fiduciary family member in order to get money or property. In extreme cases, such a beneficiary may be a convicted criminal or an addict that can be very manipulative or even violent. Under these circumstances the person planning may want to appoint someone like Stan that is independent and that has lots of experience in dealing with substance abusers and offenders. There may also be an estate that is too small to meet the threshold amounts that corporate fiduciaries, such as banks, require before they will take on the role of fiduciary. Stan will often accept responsibility for estates smaller than such corporate fiduciaries.
Oregon Courts often appoint Stan when no one can be found to step forward to take on this kind of responsibility. Stan has been certified by the National Guardianship Association to act as a guardian or conservator. Also, the court may appoint Stan when someone who would be willing to fill this role can’t be appointed because they have been bankrupt, convicted of crimes, or had a professional license revoked that would disqualify them from acting in this role. Occasionally Courts appoint Stan as a replacement when someone has already been appointed to serve in this role, but they are failing to fulfill their responsibility because they are overwhelmed or because of personality conflicts with the people involved.
Usually a fiduciary is required to obtain a bond in order to serve as fiduciary. A bond is an insurance policy that pays back losses to an estate through fiduciary negligence or theft. A person cannot obtain a bond if they have ever had a claim due to dishonesty.
If you are planning for your own future disability or death or if you are trying to help someone that is currently unable to protect themselves or their property call Stan to see if he can help—(503) 623-2427.