Estate Planning: How to Choose Your Fiduciary
Selecting who you want to handle your affairs when you’re no longer able to is an important decision. An Executor is the person who will administer your will if you’ve chosen to pass along your estate in this way. A Trustee is the name of the person who is designated to administer a revocable living trust. Regardless of which estate planning vehicle you use, you need to appoint someone to administer your last wishes. Both an Executor and a Trustee fall under the category of Fiduciary—someone who acts on another’s behalf and in their best interest.
Naming a friend or family member as your fiduciary is an honor—it shows that you hold them in high regard. But serving as a fiduciary requires a lot of detailed administrative work. Your fiduciary must have both enough spare time available to take on the responsibilities as well as the fortitude to delve into what is likely unfamiliar territory. The fiduciary you choose will have several responsibilities such as identifying your assets, determining who the beneficiaries are, paying outstanding obligations, and distributing your assets—all according to the instructions you’ve provided in your will or revocable living trust. In addition, if you’ve used a will, your Executor will have to prepare and file paperwork with the court for probate.
It could be that you have many friends or family members who would indeed be honored to serve as your fiduciary but, for one reason or another, are unable to. Or you may not want to choose a fiduciary from among your children and appear to favor one over another. Or you simply may not want to burden anyone with the responsibilities. In any of these cases, a professional fiduciary is always an option. Your estate will pay for the services; however, a professional fiduciary can administer your estate efficiently and effectively.
Getting your estate plan in place requires a lot of important decisions. Selecting a fiduciary is one of them. We can help. If you have questions or concerns about your current estate plan or need to begin the estate planning process, call Wilson Law PLC today at 866-603-5976.