By Libby Banks, The Law Office of Libby Banks
With the new year ahead of us, one of the things you might want to consider is putting in place an estate plan or updating the one you have. A great way to plan is with the Revocable Living Trust. When you establish your Trust, one of the most important decisions to make is who will be your successor Trustee.
Making Sure Your Trustee Understands the Job
When selecting your Successor Trustee, it’s important that they understand what they will be called upon to do. Also, be sure you have asked them if they are willing to serve. This is very important! You don’t want a situation where the people you counted on to serve are saying they won’t.
Understanding the Various Roles of Your Trustee
Serving as Trustee During Your Incapacity
There are several times a Successor Trustee may be called to serve, including if you become incapacitated. Make sure your Successor Trustee realizes that they may begin to serve while you are still alive but unable to manage your own finances. They should know they may be managing your finances to take care of you and anyone dependent upon you. The job of Trustee during incapacity could be a short stint or a long haul. Be sure your Trustee is up for the task either way.
Serving as Trustee to Administer Your Trust After Death
Your Successor Trustee will also wrap up your financial affairs at your death. This could be a simple job, or very complicated, depending on what you own. While you don’t have to disclose all your finances to your Successor Trustee, be sure they understand the extent of what they may have to address when they begin to serve at your death. If it’s on the complicated side, talk about what they may be signing up to do. Will they be selling a house here and in another state? Do you own a business or rental properties? Do you have many different accounts and brokerage accounts or Bitcoin?
Serving as Trustee for Your Beneficiaries
Your Successor Trustee may also be managing a trust created on your death for one or more beneficiaries, including minors who cannot handle their own money. Talk to your Trustee about what you wish for your beneficiaries and how you want distributions handled.
Take Advantage of Our Free Consultation
Selecting a trustee and talking with them about your plan is important. 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 at 602-375-6752 or inquire through our website at libbybanks.com/schedule-estate-planning-meeting.