A Critical Part of Any Well-Prepared Estate Plan
One of the most critical decisions you will make in developing your estate plan involves making appropriate selections for the various fiduciary roles under your legal documents. In the estate planning context, a “fiduciary” is someone who will serve in a role of authority with regard to you, your assets, or your minor children, such as an Executor, a Trustee, a Guardian and/or Conservator, an Attorney-in-Fact, or a Health Care Agent. A fiduciary will have a lot of power and must be completely trustworthy. When people meet with us to discuss their estate planning for the first time, they often have questions about what the various fiduciary roles entail and who to select for these roles. We have prepared a short article that discusses how to select fiduciaries and the sorts of tasks each type of fiduciary role will handle. Please click here to read the full article.
Corporate Fiduciaries for Estate & Trusts: Reliability, Prudence, Reasonableness, Protection and Peace of Mind
Choosing the fiduciaries to carry out your estate plan can be the most important decisions you make in structuring your estate plan. Why is this issue so important? We start with the premise that most clients will want to maximize flexibility and minimize costs and hassles unless a reason exists to be more restrictive. With maximum flexibility comes a lot of power and discretion in your fiduciary, be it an Executor, a Trustee, an attorney-in-fact under your Power of Attorney or an agent under your Advance Directive for Health Care. Used properly, this power and discretion enables your fiduciaries to carry out your estate planning intent with the least cost and hassle, but if misused, your fiduciaries can cause significant damage not only to your hard-earned life savings but also to your family as well. An important part of the estate planning process is to counsel our clients in the importance of proper fiduciary selection so their estate plan can be carried out as intended and as smoothly as possible. We discussed this topic in our July 2012 Newsletter, which can be found here.