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Are fees regulated?

In all court-supervised cases the probate court approves reasonable fees.  The California courts also require that a fee statement be submitted in advance, thus locking in the billing rate.  In non-court-supervised cases fees may be addressed in the estate planning documents but that does not lock in the rate for a successor not named. As each fiduciary has their own fee schedule, you should discuss what that rate is, how time is calculated, and when invoicing shall be expected.

Who needs a professional fiduciary?

Anyone who has taken the time to develop an estate plan and wishes to have an experienced professional administer it.  If you have concerns that your family may fight, then avoid the sibling rivalry by selecting a licensed fiduciary -- someone experienced working as a trustee, conservator, and power of attorney. 

I Need Your Services But Can't Afford Them

Pro-bono services are limited to 10-20% of our caseload and dependent on income and assets, current and future, and only available for conservatorships or powers of attorney. In such cases, we still bill for our time and if it is determined that a person does have funds then they are responsible for payment. However, if there are no funds, we will write off the loses.

What is blended billing and do you offer it?

Blended billing is a method where a single fiduciary may attempt to provide pricing levels to offer flexibility in the services that he offers, much like you would find in an office with several staff members.  Unfortunately it appears to be the norm that the fiduciary increases his rate and then puts the core services at a rate equivalent to that of a flat-rate fiduciary.  For example, a trustee (fiduciary) may charge a rate of $225/hr for his services, $195/hr for  an associate to attend to other tasks under the supervision of the trustee, $125/hr for administrative tasks, and $100/hr to schedule appointments or answer calls.  If 50% of all tasks are administrative, 40% at associate, and 10% at trustee then your weighted rate is $163/hr.

Konsulati does not offer blended billing.  Our method of automation reduces the time needed to perform a task.  The difference is in the experience to complete a task efficiently.  Thus with our fixed hourly rate you’ll pay less compared to a blended billing model.

Estate or Trust Administration

A trustee will manage investments, keep records, manage assets, prepare court accountings, pay bills (depending on the nature of the trust) medical expenses, charitable gifts, inheritances or other distributions of income and principal. Trustees are not required to exercise all of the powers that they are granted.[2] A trustee can manage any number of trust types, including Charitable, Special Needs Trusts, ILIT, Corporate, and Estate Trusts.

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Conservator / Committee

The term conservatorship is synonymous with elderly guardian but used mostly in the western United States. It is a court-appointed process that can be very expensive as the petitioners and proposed conservatee all must be represented by attorneys, with just a few exceptions for in pro per family members without objections. The reason for the expense is that the proposed conservatee's estate is expected to bear the burden of the court costs in the procedures to appoint.

Powers of Attorney

Under common law, a power of attorney becomes ineffective if its grantor dies or becomes "incapacitated," meaning unable to grant such a power, because of physical injury or mental illness, for example, unless the grantor (or principal) specifies that the power of attorney will continue to be effective even if the grantor becomes incapacitated. This type of power of attorney is called "power of attorney with durable provisions" in the United States or "enduring power of attorney" elsewhere. In effect, under a durable power of attorney (DPoA) [1] Read more

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