When creating important estate planning documents, you will need to consider who you will name as your trusted helpers. These trusted people will assist you by making important decisions if you are ever unable to make such decisions yourself. In addition, trusted helpers carry out your instructions incorporated into your estate plan.
Below are answers to some common questions about choosing trusted helpers. Take these answers into consideration when creating your estate plan.
What is a trustee and what are the responsibilities associated with being a trustee?
In general, a trustee is responsible for managing and distributing the assets of a trust.
As a trustee, this trusted helper is responsible for following the instructions outlined in your trust. This person is obligated by law to make decisions that are in your best interest.
What is an executor? What is the job of an executor?
An executor is usually the same person that you appoint as your trustee.
After you die, your executor is in charge of locating, managing and distributing all assets of your estate that have not been put into your trust. This trusted helper will also be responsible for paying last bills, paying taxes for the estate and attending various court appearances, if the total of your assets outside of your trust is over $100,000 (in California).
Your executor or your attorney should also file your will with the court.
How do I go about choosing a guardian for my children?
It can be difficult deciding on the best guardian for your children.
You will want to choose a guardian who is able to provide a lot of love and support to your children. This trusted helper should make your children feel safe and welcomed.
When choosing a guardian, consider values and beliefs. You likely will want your children to be raised in a manner similar to your own.
Will the guardian also be responsible for the finances of my children?
It is usually best to name someone other than the guardian to handle the finances. That way there will be two people who watch each other, both looking out for the best interests of your children. Checks and Balances.
If you have questions about selecting trusted helpers or need help analyzing your estate planning goals, feel free to telephone our estate planning law office. We’d be happy to assist you and answer all of your questions. Please call 858-792-5988 now!