Department of Consumer Affairs Professional Fiduciaries Bureau

Right Column

Filing A Complaint Against A Professional Fiduciary

1. GENERAL INFORMATION

The Bureau accepts complaints filed against both licensed professional fiduciaries subject to the licensing laws under the Professional Fiduciaries Act (Business & Professional Code §6500 et seq.) and its regulations, and against unlicensed persons, acting as professional fiduciaries subject to the Act, for unlicensed activity. You may view the statutes and regulations on the Bureau's web site or contact the Bureau to request copies.

Generally, licensing is required for non-family member professional fiduciaries who serve as private conservators or guardians for at least two persons who are not related to each other, or as agents under durable power of attorney for health care or for finances for at least four non-related individuals, or as trustees for at least four non-related trustors. Certain individuals are excluded from the licensing requirements including employees of trust companies and banks, California licensed attorneys, and certain individuals acting outside the scope of limited authority granted by specified licenses or certificates, including agents of broker-dealers, investment advisors, enrolled agents, and California certified public accountants. Please visit the Bureau's web site or contact the Bureau for more information regarding these exclusions.

To file a complaint with the Bureau, click on one of the options below. You do not need an attorney to file a complaint.

For violations of the Bureau's licensing laws, the Bureau has enforcement authority to issue citations and fines and to bring enforcement actions to suspend and revoke licenses. To initiate a disciplinary proceeding, the Bureau must determine that sufficient facts exist to prove that a professional fiduciary has violated the law.

The Bureau's enforcement jurisdiction applies only to professional fiduciaries subject to licensing. If your complaint is non-jurisdictional, the Bureau will notify you and may refer you to another government agency, if appropriate. If your complaint is jurisdictional, in addition to investigating your complaint, the Bureau may also refer you to another government agency with jurisdiction over the matter. For a listing of referrals see document titled: Referrals to Other Agencies for Complaints Against Fiduciaries.

2. RESOLVING CIVIL DISPUTES

The Bureau cannot resolve a civil complaint against a professional fiduciary. A civil dispute is a matter that must be resolved between the parties. To determine what legal options are available you should consult with an attorney. Some legal resources include:

California Senior Legal Hotline:
Referral Services Directory: 1-800-222-1737
slh.lsnc.net/

Find an Attorney, California State Bar:
http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/LawyerReferralServicesLRS.aspx

Self Help and Legal Information:
http://lawhelpca.org/

Lawyer Referral Services, California State Bar:
http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/LawyerReferralServicesLRS.aspx
Referral Services Directory: 1-866-442-2529

3. PROVIDING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION ON COMPLAINT FORM

Collection and Use of Personal Information

The information provided on the Complaint Form is maintained by the Chief of the Professional Fiduciaries Bureau, Department of Consumer Affairs. This information is requested pursuant to Business & Professions Code Sections 325, 326, and 6580. The Bureau uses this information to investigate complaints and enforce licensing standards set by law. When filing a complaint with the Bureau, please provide as much information on the form as possible including attachments to assist with the investigation.

Providing Personal Information is Voluntary

You do not have to provide personal information to file a complaint. If you do not wish to provide personal information, such as your name, address, or telephone number on the form, you may remain anonymous. In that case, however, the Bureau may not be able to contact you or help resolve your complaint.

Possible Disclosure of Personal Information

The Bureau makes every effort to protect the personal information on the form and keep it confidential. However, in order to follow up on your complaint, the Bureau may need to share the information you provide with the person or business you are complaining about or with other government agencies. This may include sharing your personal information.

The information you provide may also be disclosed in the following circumstances:

  • In response to a Public Records Act request, as allowed by the Information Practices Act.
  • To another government agency as required by state or federal law.
  • In response to a court or administrative action, a subpoena, or a search warrant.

Access to Your Information and Privacy Policy

You may review the records maintained by the Bureau that contain your personal information, as permitted by the Information Practices Act. To request access to the information, contact the Bureau at Post Office Box 989007, West Sacramento, CA 95798-9007 or call (916) 574-7340. For questions regarding the Department of Consumer Affairs' privacy policy, you may contact the Bureau, or the Information Security Office in the Department of Consumer Affairs at 1625 N. Market Blvd., N-324, Sacramento, CA 95834 or by e-mail at privacy@dca.ca.gov.