510.918.3734 [email protected]

MSU Fiduciary Partners

MSU Fiduciary Partners is a private fiduciary practice dedicated to providing comprehensive financial, legal, and personal services to families in the greater Bay Area.

Experienced. Knowledgeable. Trusted.





Special Administrator

Practice Administrator


Power of Attorney


Personal Service and Consulting



Special Administrator

Practice Administrator

Power of Attorney

Personal Service and Consulting

Trusted Experts in Private Fiduciary Services

MSU Fiduciary Partners are trusted by families to handle their most important assets.

Unparalleled Dedication to Beneficiaries

We work tirelessly on our clients’ behalf to ensure that their best interests are always taken care of.

Financial Expertise and Full Transparency

We have the financial expertise to handle complex trusts and estates, and our clients always know where their assets are and how they are being managed.

Compassionate Support During Difficult Times

Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard enough – we take care of the logistics so our clients can focus on what’s important.

As your fiduciary, we will:

  • Work with you to understand your unique situation and needs
  • Manage the financial and legal aspects of your trust or estate
  • Advocate on your behalf with financial institutions, government agencies, and other professionals
  • Ensure that your wishes are carried out according to the terms of your trust or estate plan
  • Provide you with regular reports on the status of your assets and our management of them
  • Make decisions in your best interests, always
  • Handle all the details, so you don’t have to

Mark S. Unger

Throughout his 40-year career, Mark has served as a lawyer, real estate executive, and business executive, providing him with the perfect foundation to take on the role of private professional fiduciary.


What is a private fiduciary?

A private fiduciary is a person or institution that acts on behalf of another person, group, or organization in a fiduciary capacity. They may act as a trustee administrator executor guardian/conservator, or have a power of attorney (POA ). In many cases, those roles are filled by a family member, friend, or confidant of the person that created the instrument. However in just as many instances, that appointment fails for several reasons. Inability to reach a decision, disagreement among family members incompetence, geographical distance. The private fiduciary is substituted in those scenarios bringing expertise to managing the assets, best addressing the interests of the settlor/principal and, when appropriate, other family members.

Why would we retain a private fiduciary?
There may be. one or more reasons. The trust may call for specific expertise that the named trustees do not have, e.g., securities, real estate, or an ongoing business. Frequently, family member trustees cannot make consensus decisions, so a private fiduciary is required to step in and replace them. If a named trustee lives in another part of the county or world, a private fiduciary is likely necessary to manage the local assets of the trust. In today’s world trustors often appoint private fiduciaries in the instrument rather than family members to avoid family in-fighting, thus preserving the existing family harmony.

Trusts are created for myriad reasons their terms differ widely and every beneficiary has different needs. Fiduciaries must customize the administration of each trust accordingly. The fundamental challenge a trustee must navigate usually comes down to fulfilling the grantor s intent while simultaneously meeting beneficiaries’ high expectations for the size of distributions, the stability of the distributions over time, or the trust’s longevity. As experienced trustees readily confirm, pressure from beneficiaries may further complicate decision-making. Retaining a private fiduciary can help avoid or resolve such issues.

What should we be looking for in a private fiduciary?
Trust, knowledge, and communication. Acting as a fiduciary requires a sophisticated understanding of the investment markets and thorough knowledge of the legislative landscape, including the tax code. Additionally, you want to ensure that the private fiduciary makes communication a priority. Quarterly, semi-annual, or annual reporting is great, but you should be able to reach out to and hear back from the private fiduciary at any reasonable time you request. Timely, effective, and fully transparent communication will eliminate most of the stumbling blocks that might otherwise arise.
Why choose a private fiduciary over a corporate/bank trustee?
The private fiduciary will likely provide far more personalized service than a corporate/bank trustee. You will have only one point of contact for all your questions surrounding the trust, and you will have the ability to communicate in a direct and timely fashion with the private fiduciary. A fiduciary should provide you with all their contact information including cell phone so that you can reach out to them at any reasonable time.
What are the advantages in retaining a private fiduciary?
Depending upon your situation, there may be any number of advantages. The private fiduciary should be easy to reach and communicate with. Your private fiduciary should return your call that day or the next. You and your assets will be of primary importance to the private fiduciary. Unlike a corporate/bank trustee, your trust will not be one of hundreds that the private fiduciary is managing. You will have one point of contact, not three, four, or five, under a corporate/bank trustee arrangement. Assuming you do your homework and select a private fiduciary with the appropriate educational and business background, you will likely receive a higher degree of care and success with your trust assets.

Reach Me

260 Lafayette Circle
Lafayette, CA 94549