a person named by you to manage your financial affairs pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth in a written power of attorney, without court intervention, should you ever become disabled. If married, often the spouse is named as the first agent. Usually family members are identified as successor agents.
a person named by you to make health care decisions for you if you cannot do so yourself. If married, the spouse is normally named, with family members as successor agents.
a person who holds a position of trust and confidence in your estate plan. The rest of the definitions on this page refer to examples of fiduciaries.
the person appointed by a court to provide for the care and wellbeing of a disabled (i.e., incompetent) adult or a minor child. Guardians for minors may be appointed, without court approval, by their parents' Wills. An adult may appoint a guardian in a power of attorney (or other similar document) that would become effective, with court approval, at some time in the future if that adult becomes disabled.
the person appointed by a court to manage the property interest of a disabled person or a minor. Like guardians of the person, guardians of the property of disabled persons can be appointed by an adult in a power of attorney.
the person identified in your Will to manage your estate through the probate process. If married, the first choice is usually the surviving spouse. If not married (or upon the deaths of both spouses) you will need to identify persons (i.e., members of your family or close friends), financial institutions with trust departments, or professional (i.e., CPAs attorneys) to serve in this capacity.
a person or financial institution appointed by a person to hold and manage property put into trust by that person, and to make distributions of the trust property. Examples of such trusts include: