We are proud to be in a profession with many other private fiduciaries who share our commitment to values of integrity and excellence. But the manner in which we came into the profession is different that most other fiduciaries and as a firm, we operate differently than most others. We believe these differences are distinctives, which you may find to be advantages, if your circumstances match with our focus and specialization.


  1. We are lawyer-led.  Bruce was drawn to the fiduciary profession after more than twenty years in a traditional law practice. (His wife still wonders why.) It wasn’t a big step, as he continued his emphasis in estate and trust administration. Legal advice, analysis and guidance are necessary in trust and estate administration. It is nice to have that counsel in-house; and it is even nicer for the trusts when that legal component is provided at fiduciary rates which are much lower than attorney rates. (And, thus, the quandary of Bruce’s wife.)
  2. We are Fresno’s oldest fiduciary office. “Oldest” isn’t always an advantage, but when examining a learning curve, the experience which comes from decades in the trenches can be very beneficial.
  3. We only handle trust and estate administration. We are strategically simplified and focused in the scope of our work. Our expertise and full attention is devoted to the financial aspects of trusts and estates, and the concomitant relationship with beneficiaries of the trust assets. We do not serve as “health care agents” or “conservators of the person,” but we work collaboratively with other fiduciaries in those roles.
  4. We have spent our entire careers in the trust and estate field. The fiduciaries in our office began their professional careers in the field of trust and estate administration. It is our chosen profession. For us, this has been a lifetime endeavor (although one of us has a longer lifetime than the other).
  5. We have a trained and experienced support staff. In our office, it is possible to delegate responsibilities among our staff which increases efficiency and expediency.
  6. We bill on a time basis, with bracketed rates. We believe that there should be a relationship between “the time worked” and “the amount charged.” So, we bill on a time basis instead of a percentage of the size of the estate. Here again, our support staff works to the advantage of the trust because we can charge lower rates for the tasks and projects assigned to staff members. See below for a more detailed discussion of our fee structure.
  7. We are inter-generational – Part I. Bickel Fiduciary Group will not fold upon the death of Bruce Bickel. (We picked on him because he is the oldest person in the office.)  Julie is 16 years younger than Bruce, and Matt is 13 years younger than Julie. These younger generations of fiduciaries assure a succession plan for Bickel Fiduciary Group and provides continuity for the cases which we administer.
  8. We have a primary focus on cases which involve friction among the beneficiaries or in which the sensitivities of the beneficiary are a priority. We have been doing this for a long time. We can understand and anticipate the feelings and resentment that beneficiaries may have, against other beneficiaries, or against a Trustee who stands between them and “their” money.
  9. We are inter-generational – Part 2. Review #8 above. Because we always seek to establish a relational rapport with the beneficiaries we serve, sometimes we bring in the grey-haired fiduciary (that would be Bruce); other times we turn to our Gen X and Millennial fiduciaries (that would be Julie and Matt). Our goal is to use the diversity of our team to achieve compatibility with our beneficiaries.
  10. We carry errors & omissions insurance. We carry fiduciary liability insurance covering work performed by our fiduciaries and the staff working at their direction. We believe this is an appropriate expenditure for every professional fiduciary to ensure that a trust is not financially damaged by an error committed by the fiduciary. Not all professional fiduciaries have such coverage. Family-member fiduciaries almost never have it. In addition, each of our fiduciaries can be bonded for a particular case, if required by the Court or requested by the beneficiaries.