Talking to Your Executor (or Trustee)
The holidays are just around the corner, and when the family gathers, it can be a great time to talk to the person or persons you have chosen as your executor,
personal representative, and/or Trustee.
Is Your Executor Willing to Serve?
If you are just beginning your planning, now is a good time to ask your chosen trustee if they are willing to serve. This is very important! You don’t want a situation to arise where the people you counted on to serve are saying they won’t. It is one of many ways to end up in an expensive court proceeding to get a trustee appointed. If you have a plan in place and did not ask before naming them, be sure to ask now!
Does Your Executor Understand What’s Expected of Them?
Next, talk to them about the type of plan you are putting together. Is it a Last Will and Testament with the understanding that they will need to file the Will with the probate court before being able to proceed? Or have you put in place a Revocable Living Trust that will let them avoid court proceedings and quickly step in to wrap up your estate. Be sure they know what will be expected of them.
Another item to mention is your incapacity planning. Many trustees only think they will be called to serve when you pass away. Make sure they understand that if you are incapacitated, they may need to step in to manage your finances, such as paying your bills and making sure that you are taken care of financially.
Will Your Executor Treat Your Beneficiaries as You Wish?
If your Trustee will also be managing a trust for a beneficiary, perhaps a minor, a young adult, or someone with special needs, talk to them about what you wish for your beneficiaries. How do you want distributions handled, how much access should your beneficiaries have to the assets, and what opportunities do you want them to have to manage the assets themselves? If learning to work hard and make your own way is important to you, your trustee needs to know what that means in terms of the trust you have created for your beneficiary. If you want the trustee to teach the beneficiary how to manage the assets before they receive them, talk to your trustee about keeping the beneficiary involved in the decision-making when they are old enough.
Does Your Trustee Know Where to Find Your Estate Information?
Be sure, too, that your Trustee knows who your trusted advisors are and if you want them to consult those same people or if they are free to choose someone else. Tell them where to find the information about your estate plan, your assets, and your advisors, so they know where to go to find everything when the time to step in arrives.
Take Advantage of Our Free Consultation
Selecting a trustee is important. Talking with them about your plan is as well. If you need an estate plan or want a review of your current plan, I’m happy to help. We are happy to meet via Zoom, FaceTime or phone for our free initial consultation. Give my office a call (602) 375-6752, inquire through our website at
https://libbybanks.com/schedule-estate-planning-meeting, or email my assistant Raegan at Admin@libbybanks.com.