By Libby Banks, The Law Office of Libby Banks

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, it is a good time to ask your chosen trustee if they are willing to serve. You don’t want a situation to arise where the people you counted on to serve are saying they won’t. That is one way to end up in an expensive court proceeding.

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 expectation that they will be filing 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 about being 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.

Will Your Executor Treat Your Beneficiaries as You Wish?
If your trustee will also be managing a trust for a beneficiary, perhaps a minor or young adult, talk to them about what you wish for your beneficiaries. How should distributions be handled? Is learning to work hard and make your own way important to you? If so, your trustee needs to know what that means in terms of the trust you have created for your beneficiary.

Does Your Trustee Know Where to Find Your Estate Information?
Be sure, too, that your trustee knows who your trusted advisors are and 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 and talking to them about your plan is important. If you need an estate plan or want a review of your current plan, I’m happy to meet via Zoom, FaceTime or phone for our free initial consultation. Give my office a call at 602-375-6752, inquire through our website at, or email my assistant Raegan at [email protected].