Decision Making. The fiduciary shall exercise extreme care and diligence when making
decisions on behalf of a ward or protected person. The fiduciary shall make all decisions
in a manner that promotes the civil rights and liberties of the ward or protected person
and maximizes independence and self-reliance.
a. The fiduciary shall make all reasonable efforts to determine the preferences of the
ward or protected person, both past and current, regarding all decisions the fiduciary
is empowered to make.
b. The fiduciary shall make decisions in accordance with the determined preferences of
the ward or protected person, past or current, in all instances except when the
fiduciary is reasonably certain the decision will result in substantial harm.
c. When it is not possible to determine the preferences of the ward or protected person,
the fiduciary shall make decisions in the bestinterest of the ward or protected person.
d. The fiduciary shall maintain an awareness of their limitations, shall carefully consider
the views and opinions of those involved in the treatment, care and management of
the ward, protected person, or estate and shall also seek independent opinions when
e. The fiduciary shall recognize their decisions are open to the scrutiny of other interested
parties and, consequently, to criticism and challenge. Regardless, the fiduciary alone is
ultimately responsible for decisions made on behalf of the ward, protected person, or
f. The fiduciary shall refrain from decisionmaking in areas outside the scope of the
guardianship, or conservatorship, or personal representative order. When necessary
and in the best interests of the ward or protected person, the fiduciary shall assist the
ward or protected person by ensuring decisions are made in an autonomous fashion.
2. Ethics. The fiduciary shall exhibit the highest degree of trust, loyalty and fidelity in
relation to the ward, protected person, or estate.
a. The fiduciary shall manage and protect the personal and monetary interests of the ward
or protected person and fostergrowth, independence and self reliance to the maximum
b. The fiduciary shall avoid self-dealing or the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Self dealing or a conflict of interest arises where the fiduciary has some personal or
agency interest other individuals may perceive as self-serving or adverse to the
position or best interest of the ward, protected person, or decedent. In situations
where no other services are available, the fiduciary shall disclose the potential
conflict in a petition to the superior court,seeking approval prior to the provision of
c. The fiduciary shall vigorously protect the rights of the ward or protected person
against infringement by third parties.
d. The fiduciary shall, whenever possible, provide all pertinent information to the ward
or protected person unless the fiduciary is reasonably certain substantial harm will
result from providing this information.
e. The fiduciary shall ensure any document filed with the superior court is timely.
f. The fiduciary shall not knowingly file any document with the superior court or
present testimony to the superior court which is misleading, inaccurate, false, or
contains misstatements, misrepresentationsor omissions of material facts. The
fiduciary shall inform the superior court within ten days of the change in location or
death of a client or ward.
g. The fiduciary shall only prepare powers of attorney or other legal documents, if also
certified as a legal document preparer pursuant to ACJA § 7-208, except as ordered
by the court. This provision does not apply to the Arizona Department of Veterans
Services pursuant to A.R.S. § 41-603(A).
h. The fiduciary shall, if serving in the capacity of any type of a power of attorney,
trustee, or legal custodian for the federal veterans’ services division, disclose to the
public, ward or client their supreme court certification does notpertain to these
i. The fiduciary shall not permit or authorize trainees, support staff orother contracted
professionals to provide informed consentsand shall not allow trainees, support staff
or other contracted professionals to enter into any contractual agreements regarding
the ward or protected persons.
The National Guardianship Association (NGA) prescribes a similar code of ethics. Although this best-practices guide is an excellent resource, Licensed Fiduciaries are bound by the ACJA section above. Members who have voluntarily attained National Certified Guardian or National Master Guardian credentials are bound by the NGA standards, as well.
Click here to download the complete NGA Code of Ethics document