For individuals who are:
- Deputy public guardians or conservators
- CPAs, enrolled agents, financial advisors, or investment advisors
- Adult protective service workers, or social workers
- Anyone who would like a career serving as a representative or trustee.
What You'll Learn
- Legal procedures and codes
- Business standards of practice
- Accounting and asset management
What You Can Do With This Certificate
Positions are available in the legal field, and can be found in self-employment, private firms, government agencies, and the judicial system. They might include:
- Professional fiduciary
- Court-appointed trustee
- Estate administrator
“The coursework balance in my program was perfect and the instructors provided their real-life perspectives, guiding us in learning our discipline, as well as showing us the expectations from the other side. My classmates became invaluable connections in an industry where networking is key.”
Licensed Professional Fiduciary
Chaven-Meinzer Fiduciary Services
Palos Verdes, CA
Earning the Certificate
Prior to enrolling, please ensure that you meet the following minimum requirements:
- High school education or equivalent
Professional Licensing and Career Information
California Licensed Professional Fiduciary (California Professional Fiduciaries Bureau). Minimum requirements include:
- Bachelor's degree from a nationally accredited university; OR
- Associate degree with at least three years working in fiduciary management; OR
- At least five years working in fiduciary management.
For more information see How to Earn a Certificate
Our certificate programs are designed to be flexible, allowing you the option to take just a few courses or to earn the complete certificate. If choosing to complete the certificate, we recommend you get the most out of your experience by following the suggested completion path below.
Survey course introducing fiduciary roles and responsibilities. Topics include conservatorships, case management, trust management, duties, responsibilities and liabilities, elder abuse, undue influence, estate planning issues, resources for the elderly and hiring practices.
Current fiduciary investment and risk management strategies for managing assets in a conservatorship estate, a trust or a decedent's probate estate. Includes procedures of locating, properly titling, and appraising assets. Choosing the correct investment advisor, establishing an investment strategy, permissible investment vehicles and rules, and investigating beneficiary needs and situations are discussed.
Accounting procedures required for effective managing of transactions. This course provides an overview of current California probate code accounting preparation requirements, the proper accounting format and presentation, and the identification, proper use and completion of mandatory accounting schedules and forms. Discussion and analysis of probate code statutes for conservatorship, guardianship, decedent and trust estates' accounting format, rules and procedures and ethical considerations.
Breaks down the anatomy of a trust instrument, introduces trust terminology, and covers the California laws governing trust administration and procedures. Explore different types of revocable and irrevocable trusts, the purposes they serve, and how to administer and manage private and court-supervised trusts. Learn how to identify and avoid conflicts of interest, and what to do should you find yourself in a conflict. Ethical considerations are discussed.
Examines the roles and responsibilities of conservatorship management and an overview of temporary, permanent, limited and mental health (LPS) conservatorships. Discussions include the referral process, what happens in court, judicial forms, fiduciary duties, required obligations, and documentation.
A discussion of the legal theories, practices and procedures of administering a decedent's estate under California law, depending on the type and value of its assets. Examines and analyzes the major California Probate Code statutes concerning rules of court and legal ethics.
Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Understand proper legal terminology used in the administration of decedent's estates;
- Know when it is necessary to subject a decedent's estate to formal court administration and how to administer a decedent¿s estate;
- Recognize a decedent's estate of "small value" and understand how to obtain distribution of those assets without going to court;
- Recognize the duties and liabilities of a personal representative who administers a decedent's estate, the fixing and posting of fiduciary bonds;
- Understand how to notify the decedent's creditors and other local, state and federal government entities of the decedent's death and their right to file claims against a decedent's estate;
- Filing a decedent's final income tax returns, obtaining the assignment of an EIN for the decedent's estate and filing annual fiduciary income tax returns until the estate is closed;
- Prepare an inventory and appraisal of the assets in a decedent's estate;
- Understand how a personal representative fulfills the requirements of a formal or informal fiduciary accounting of a decedent's estate;
- Sell real property and personal property assets of a decedent's estate; and,
- Distribute a decedent's estate, obtain receipts from beneficiaries/heirs and final discharge as personal representative.
How to establish and operate a private professional fiduciary practice. Includes standard operating procedures and practical tips for staying organized, reporting income, hiring services, when to consult with other professionals and how to maintain proper calendars to ensure that all deadlines are met, particularly court hearings and investigative interviews. Software, technology and types of professional liability insurance are discussed.
“One of the things I enjoy most about teaching in this program is meeting students from all over the state, and from a wide variety of backgrounds. Most are older with a lot of work and life experience which enriches the classes. I keep in touch with many of them, and they have helped to keep my own practice rich and current.”
Clinical Professor & Licensed Professional Fiduciary
Claremont Graduate School
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