Fiduciary from the Latin fiducia, meaning “trust,” a person who has the power and obligation to act for another, under circumstances which require total trust, good faith and honesty.
Pamela Bensmiller, Yavapai County Public Fiduciary, just got two new licensed fiduciaries and said, “Having two of our current employees, Janet Wells and Kathryn Blair, become licensed fiduciaries is a tremendous help to our office and to the people we serve.”
The Yavapai County Public Fiduciary office now has four licensed fiduciaries and one more in the process. The Arizona Supreme Court Administrative Office of the Courts oversees fiduciary licensure. A fiduciary is licensed only after passing a rigorous exam and extensive background check as well as meeting specific educational requirements and completing statutorily-proscribed periods of training, typically ranging from one to three years, with a currently licensed fiduciary.
The Public Fiduciary is appointed by the Superior Court for those persons or decedents’ estates in need of guardianship, conservatorship or administration and for whom there is no other person qualified and willing to act in that capacity.
As a guardian, the Public Fiduciary ensures that the basic needs of an incapacitated person are met. Some of these needs include, personal, medical, psychiatric and housing needs.
The Public Fiduciary is not a direct-care service provider, but rather, ensures that the persons for whom it is appointed have access to needed care, benefits and resources. As court-appointed conservator the Public Fiduciary manages and conserves those assets for the benefit of the protected person.
Janet Wells said, “We make sure adults who were born developmentally disabled, or older adults who have dementia and no one to care of them, are taken care of and not being taken advantage of.” Janet worked for Yavapai County Long Term Care for several years before coming to the fiduciary office, where she was required to work for three years before she could apply to be officially licensed. Janet went on to say “One of my favorite parts is seeing that those in our care are getting the benefits they’re entitled to, and making their lives a little easier.”
The Yavapai County Public Fiduciary handles primarily indigent cases when there are not sufficient funds with which to pay a private fiduciary and the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors has directed the Public Fiduciary not to compete with private fiduciaries whenever possible.
For more information you can go to www.Yavapai.us/pubfid or call 928-771-3153.
-- Yavapai County
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