Who Should be Your Successor Trustee?

If you have a revocable living trust, you probably named yourself as trustee so you can continue to manage your own financial affairs, but eventually, someone will need to step in for you when you are no longer able to act due to incapacity or after your death.  Your successor trustee plays an important role in the effective execution of your estate plan. The Key Takeaways: Because successor trustees have a lot of responsibility, they should be chosen carefully. Successor trustees can be your adult children, other relatives, a trusted friend, or a corporate or professional trustee. Responsibilities of A [...]

By |2021-09-21T17:51:52+00:00August 23rd, 2018|Categories: Design, Estate Planning, Trusts|Tags: , , |0 Comments

How to Choose a Trustee

When you establish a trust, you name someone to be the trustee.  A trustee does what you do right now with your financial affairs – collect income, pay bills and taxes, save and invest for the future, buy and sell assets, provide for your loved ones, keep accurate records, and generally keep things organized and in good order. The Key Takeaways You can be a trustee of your revocable living trust.  If you are married, your spouse can be co-trustee. Most irrevocable trusts do not allow you to be a trustee. Even though you may be allowed to be your [...]

By |2021-09-21T17:52:10+00:00August 23rd, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning, Trusts|Tags: |0 Comments

Should Your Child’s Guardian and Trustee be the Same Person?

If you have overheard any discussion about estate planning, you have likely heard the words “guardian” or “trustee” tossed around in the conversation.  When it comes to estate planning, who will be ultimately in charge of your minor child is an important decision that requires consideration of many factors.  Although there is no substitute for you as a parent, a guardian is essentially someone who steps in as a parent, assuming the parental role and raising the child through adulthood.  A trustee, on the other hand, is in charge of managing the financial legacy that has been left behind for [...]

How to Pick a Trustee, Executor, and Agent Under a Power of Attorney

While the term fiduciary is a legal term with a rich history, it very generally means someone who is legally obligated to act in another person’s best interests.  Trustees, executors, and agents are all examples of fiduciaries.  When you pick trustees, executors, and agents in your estate plan, you’re picking one or more people to make decisions in your and your beneficiaries’ best interests and in accordance with the instructions you leave.  Luckily, understanding the basics of what each of these terms means and what to consider when making your choices can make your estate plan work far better. Trustee [...]

One Call You Must Make After You Buy a Home (That You’ve Probably Forgotten)

During the home buying process, you worked with a lot of individuals: your realtor, the seller’s realtor, the title company, the loan officer, and the home inspector.  Now that you have finalized the purchase of your house, there is one more expert you need to call: your estate planning attorney. Aligning Your Ownership with Existing Estate Planning First, your attorney can help you review the new documents associated with your home purchase in conjunction with your existing estate plan to ensure that everything aligns and works towards your overall estate planning objectives.  If your existing estate plans include a trust [...]

Who Should I Pick to Be Successor Trustee?

Who should I pick to be successor trustee? When you create a living trust, you usually need to choose who to name as your successor trustee. It is crucial that this decision is not taken lightly and that the right person is selected for the job. Role of Successor Trustee If you become incapacitated, your successor trustee will step into your shoes and take full control of your trust assets on your behalf. This means he or she will have full authority to make financial decisions — including selling or refinancing trust assets. In fact, as long as the act does not [...]

By |2021-09-21T18:23:08+00:00July 16th, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Don’t Leave Your Trust Unguarded: 6 Key Ways a Trust Protector Can Help You

Trust protectors are a fairly new and commonly used protection in the United States. In short, a trust protector is someone who serves as an appointed authority over a trust that will be in effect for a long period of time. Trust protectors ensure that trustees: maintain the integrity of the trust, make solid distribution and investment decisions, and adapt the trust to changes in law and circumstance.  Whenever changes occur, as they are bound to do, the trust protector has the power modify the trust to carry out the trust maker’s intent. Significantly, the trust protector has the power [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:31:33+00:00August 4th, 2016|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Doris Duke’s Trustee Bilked Estate for $1M: How Well Do You Know Yours?

Choosing a trustee is a very personal matter and should never be left to chance. Doris Duke, heiress of Duke’s energy and tobacco fortunes, didn’t seem to know her trustee very well at all.  After Duke passed in 1992, her trustee bilked the estate for over $1 million. It begs the question:  How well do you know your trustee? The Butler Did It! That old saying certainly fits in this situation because Doris Duke had her butler appointed as her estate’s trustee. The estate was reportedly worth $1.3 billion at the time of her death. Perhaps all that money was too much [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:31:38+00:00July 28th, 2016|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , |0 Comments

The Wrong Successor Trustee Can Derail Your Final Wishes

Today many estate plans contain irrevocable trusts that will continue for the benefit of a surviving spouse’s lifetime and then for the benefit of several generations.  Since these trusts are designed to span multiple decades, it is crucial to choose the right succession of trustees. Should You Name Family Members as Your Successor Trustees? Choosing the right succession of trustees for your irrevocable trust that is intended to continue for years is critical to its longevity and ultimate success. Initially you may think that a family member, such as your spouse, a sibling, or an adult child, will be the [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:46:14+00:00January 1st, 2015|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , |0 Comments
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