Trustee Services

Drawing on on considerable financial management and estate settlement experience, SM2 provides trustee, successor trustee, and executor services. From gathering assets to bill-paying to estate liquidation to estate disbursement, SM2 fiduciaries can be engaged to efficiently manage the entire process. McConnell and Maguire, who work closely with clients’ accountants and attorneys, are well versed in the legal and accounting complexities
involved in trust management and settlement.

Special Needs Trusts and Guardianship Services

SM2 fiduciaries can also serve as Special Needs Trust trustees or as guardians for minors or those with limited abilities. Services can range from personal to financial similar to those offered through Conservatorships-of-the-Person or Conservatorships-of-the-Estate.

Conservator-of-the-Person Services

Requiring perhaps the highest level of responsibility and compassion, SM2 provides care for the individual in need. When asked to help people with limited decision-making capabilities, SM2 can manage living arrangements, personal health, medical treatment, and general welfare. These responsibilities require a very high level of understanding and empathy by the fiduciary. Decisions made by SM2 fiduciaries are always made with the utmost respect for the client.

Conservator-of-the-Estate Services

With extensive investment advisory experience, SM2 fiduciaries can manage day-to-day financial decisions as well as long-term asset management. On behalf of clients, SM2 can manage cash flow, real estate, investments, insurance, tax accounting, and legal matters. SM2 fiduciaries can work with the client’s legal and accounting teams or with the firm’s selected professionals.

Powers of Attorney

Power of Attorney (POA) gives a third party authority to act on behalf of someone who cannot act for themselves. A POA can be limited or general and can apply to financial, health care, or personal decision-making. A General Power of Attorney remains in effect until the individual becomes incapacitated while Durable Power of Attorney remains in effect until the individual dies. Either POA can be revoked.


SM2 Trust bills exclusively by the hour. The current hourly rates for licensed fiduciaries range from $150.00 – $290.00 and are dependent upon the task being performed. The hourly rates for unlicensed staff range from $75.00 – $120.00 and are dependent upon skill level and experience of the staff member performing the task. Detailed fee schedules are included in introductory packets provided during initial consultation meetings with prospective clients.

“I Care a Lot”… Setting the Facts Straight

There has been a lot of chatter recently in our industry centered around Netflix's film "I Care a Lot". Many have questions concerning where the line between gripping drama and actual real life accounts of lies. Could this actually happen? Could this happen to me? Below we have included a detailed article that draws the line between facts and fiction when it comes to conservatorships and guardianships in the state of California.

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There has been an increase in awareness of fraud in the Conservatorship industry due to the recent Netflix production “I Care a Lot”. This film does not accurately depict the conservatorship process and instead paints it with negativity. Below you will find a detailed report that accurately explains the process while debunking information that was present in the film. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions concerning this topic!

A conservator is a “fiduciary”, meaning that the conservator must take actions only in the best interest of the conservatee and must act in good faith and with the utmost loyalty and concern for the conservatee. In making decisions the conservator must attempt to have the conservatee live in the least restrictive environment and to the maximum extent possible take into account the personal wishes of the conservatee. The conservator must appropriately exercise those powers granted by the court.

A conservatorship is a legal proceeding where one person or entity, called the “conservator” is appointed by a judge to manage the affairs of another person called the “conservatee”.

If you, a friend, or a family member needs help with either personal care or financial care, SM2 has the staff, experience, and expertise to help. Generally, SM2 can act in a variety of different capacities:

SM2 principals can act as Conservators, Guardians or under Powers of Attorney, providing personal care for individuals over a wide spectrum of needs. As required, levels of help can be offered with the following:

  • Health care and medications
  • Daily meals
  • Health care and medications
  • Bill paying
  • Care facility placement
  • General health and welfare
  • Asset management

SM2 can act as Trustee providing financial and estate care for individuals. Services include:

  • Bill paying
  • Property management oversight
  • Asset management
  • Tax coordination
  • Estate settlement and distribution

A trust is a way to manage money or other assets for someone else.

There are three key people involved in any trust:

  • The settlor – the person who puts the assets or money into the trust.
  • The beneficiary – the person who benefits from the trust.
  • The trustee – the person who manages the trust.

There may be more than one settlor, beneficiary or trustee involved in a trust.

Someone might set up a trust for a beneficiary because the beneficiary:

  • Is too young to manage their own affairs, typically under 18.
  • Is an older person who needs to pay for long-term care.
  • Has a permanent disability which means they can’t manage their own affairs.
  • Sometimes, an illness, injury, or disability can make it difficult or impossible for someone to make decisions about his or her health care, money, living situation, or other personal matters. Examples may include:
    • Someone who is in a coma.
    • Someone who is mentally challenged.
    • Someone who has Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
    • Someone who has had a stroke.
    • Someone who has suffered a brain injury.
  • If a court finds that a person cannot make any or all of his or her important life decisions, that person is incapacitated.
  • To decide whether someone is incapacitated, the court holds a hearing and looks at all the facts. It will find that a person is incapacitated if it believes the facts show the person cannot:
    • understand the facts about his or her financial, health care, or living situation well enough to make decisions about any or all of those matters, or
    • clearly communicate his or her wishes about any or all of those matters.

About Us

SM2 Trust was founded by Shelley M. McConnell and Stephen P. Maguire to provide fiduciary services for clients on the Central Coast of California.  A fiduciary, one to whom property or powers are entrusted for the exclusive benefit of another, is held to the highest legal and ethical standards of care and responsibility.  A fiduciary can be entrusted with the obligation to manage financial assets, health care needs, quality-of-life considerations, and end-of-life decisions for individuals in need.  

The State of California Department of Consumer Affairs licenses qualified individuals to provide these services on a fee basis.  Under the fiduciary umbrella, SM2 offers trustee, conservator-of-the-person, conservator-of-the-estate, guardianship, and estate settlement capabilities for clients.

Shelley M. McConnell and Stephen P. Maguire are committed to honoring the abiding trust placed in SM2 by their cherished clients.  SM2 fiduciaries adhere to a level of respect, responsibility, and integrity that will ensure the intentions and wishes of clients are carried out to the letter.

Of paramount importance to the fiduciary is a complete and thorough understanding of the client’s wishes.  Partners McConnell and Maguire begin by cultivating a deep understanding of the client’s wishes, expectations, hopes, dreams, and fears.   Attention is paid to the personal, familial, and spiritual beliefs of the client. Above all, SM2 fiduciaries are charged with respecting the client’s wishes first and foremost.

SM2 will also work with family members, friends, attorneys, and religious leaders in an attempt to understand each individual client.  Documents, such as trusts, wills, powers-of-attorney, and health care directives, also provide essential information in this process.  

SM2 fiduciaries will include the client in as many decisions as can be accommodated while acting as non-invasively as possible.  SM2 fiduciaries act exclusively in the best interest of both the client’s person and estate.

We provide attentive personal care and prudent financial management to clients under a fiduciary standards of responsibility, transparency, confidentiality, and integrity.

Our Team

Let's Talk!

Let us advise you about professional fiduciary services that protect what is most important to you.

567 Camino Mercado, Suite F

Arroyo Grande, CA  93420