Licensure Required for California's Professional Fiduciaries as of July 1, 2008.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- On July 1, 2008, mandatory licensure for professional fiduciaries took effect to more closely regulate the industry. The Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC) played a key role in the passage of 2006's SB 1550, the Professional Fiduciaries Act, which established a licensing and disciplinary body for professional fiduciaries.
"For more than a decade, the Professional Fiduciary Association of California has been a strong proponent of fiduciary licensure to help better regulate the industry against unscrupulous acts within the profession," said Sharon Toth, president of the Professional Fiduciary Association of California. "We encourage all fiduciaries to get licensed immediately as it provides credibility to the profession as well as accountability, protection and peace of mind to California's most vulnerable citizens who require our services."
Key components of the Professional Fiduciaries Act include:
* The establishment of the Professional Fiduciaries Bureau within the California Department of Consumer Affairs
* Requiring licensed fiduciaries to keep and maintain records
* Filing annual statements containing specified information to the Bureau
* Requiring the Bureau to make public specific information on each fiduciary
* Abiding by new Fiduciaries Code of Ethics that requires them to manage their clients' interests responsibly and without conflict, and to closely guard against unnecessary disclosure of personal client information
* Authorizing the Bureau to take disciplinary proceedings and impose sanctions, including fines, license suspension, probation or revocation, on licensees who violate a statute, regulation, or the Professional Fiduciaries Code of Ethics.
To become licensed, fiduciaries must pass an examination and complete thirty (30) hours of approved education courses. Moreover, fiduciaries must earn fifteen (15) hours of continuing education credits each year for renewal.
A fiduciary is a person who assumes responsibility for a position of trust and serves by court appointment as guardians or conservators. They also serve by agreement as trustees, representative payees or as agents under powers of attorney.
To learn more about the Professional Fiduciaries Act, which falls under Chapter 6 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions code, visit www.fiduciary.ca.gov.
Consumers can also visit www.pfac-pro.org to learn more about the profession, including what to look for when choosing a fiduciary, a referral list of PFAC members, code of ethics complaint forms and more.
The Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC) is a statewide professional organization currently with 350 members dedicated to serving and protecting the best interests of those who have placed their trust in them by ensuring the highest standards of ethics and practice, establishing comprehensive statewide certification, maintaining high qualifications for membership, requiring the continuing education of members, and the mentoring of new members. For more information, please visit the PFAC website at www.pfac-pro.org.