Protect Your Assets: Working With Professional Fiduciary Financial Advisors
Fiduciary financial advisors are professionals who can help you protect your assets.
As an Estate and Asset Protection Attorney who creates legal documents for my clients, I also often work closely with my clients’ fiduciary financial advisors. The goal of such professionals is to protect your assets.
It is not uncommon for high worth individuals and companies to have a team of advisors helping them protect assets. That team might include estate planning attorneys, tax attorneys, accountants, bankers, and financial advisors.
Many of my clients don’t have teams of advisors, but most do work with financial advisors. As such, I am frequently asked to recommend these professionals. I always recommend that people work with a fiduciary financial advisor. Many people are not familiar with the term, so I will explain the difference between a fiduciary and non-fiduciary financial advisor as well as what they can do and the anticipated cost of working with a fiduciary.
A fiduciary is a professional duty with legal requirements that also cover how they carry out protecting assets.
Fiduciary duty is the requirement that certain professionals, like lawyers or financial advisors, work in the best financial interest of their clients. U.S. law dictates that members of certain professions who are doing business for certain clients be bound by fiduciary duty. Not all financial advisors are fiduciaries.
When it comes to money management, there are two standards of care that apply. The Fiduciary Standard and the Suitability Standard. There are slight but meaningful differences. The fiduciary standard requires the professional to act in the best interest of their clients, while the suitability standard is just that. It requires that a financial advisor make recommendations that are suitable for the needs of the client.
Fiduciary financial advisors have two key duties.
When trusted with managing a client’s money, fiduciary financial advisors have two key duties: the Duty of Care and Duty of Loyalty.
Duty of Care
Under the duty of care, fiduciaries must make informed business decisions after reviewing available information with a critical eye. Financial advisors might fulfill this by analyzing comprehensive information about your financial life before making recommendations or plans. Directors of companies, on the other hand, might consult industry experts and maintain detailed records and best practices for the company.
Duty of Loyalty
To abide by the duty of loyalty, fiduciaries must not have any undisclosed economic or personal conflict of interest. They cannot use their position to further their private interests. Fiduciary financial advisors might adhere to the duty of loyalty by disclosing any recommendations they’ll receive a commission on.
Wondering how to find a fiduciary financial advisor?
Finding a fiduciary financial advisor does not have to be a difficult task.
You can go about it the way you would find any professional from a doctor or dentist to a general contractor or handyman. Ask friends and co-workers. Ask your dentist or doctor. Ask your banker, your lawyer, anyone you trust if they know a fiduciary financial advisor or if they work with one. Of course, you can search online as well. Once you have someone in mind, check references, and if you feel so inclined, run a background check. Then, interview your potential candidates and work with the one with whom you feel understands your objectives and can help you achieve them.
Once you’ve established a relationship with your financial advisor, you may want to take that next step and establish an estate and asset protection plan, if you haven’t already done so.
If you do have one and you would like your financial advisor to review it, that’s a great idea too. As I mentioned earlier, we are accustomed to working with our clients’ financial advisors. We would be happy to become part of your trusted team of advisors. Give my office a call at 404-370-0696 and let’s discuss your current estate and asset protection needs.