Creating an estate plan can be overwhelming. One of the most significant decisions you will have to make is choosing who will serve as your Trustee. This needs to be a person you explicitly trust with your financial and personal information in life and death. Estate lawyers want to explain what you need to discuss with your Trustee as you create your plan and have it set for your senior years.
At my firm, we suggest you bring the individual that you have chosen to meet with, your estate planning lawyer to review the Trust document. This is when they can ask questions and become familiar with the lawyer that will be guiding the Trust Administration process when the time comes. The meeting also allows you to discuss your true intentions for your beneficiaries. Having your Trustee meet with the attorney will benefit them, as they will be working together after you pass to ensure your estate is settled the way you intended.
The Trustee is also the person who handles the financial part of the Trust. Some of their responsibilities will include managing the Trust assets, investing money responsibly, distributing money as the estate details, and managing all expenses the Trust incurs. The Trustee needs to open a checking account and use the Trust account to pay all costs, so there is a record of all incoming and outgoing finances.
The Trustee also needs to be in regular communication with the estate’s beneficiaries. The Trustee is responsible for providing financial disclosures to each heir regularly. These disclosures allow the financials to be available to all as a safeguard against mismanagement, comingling, or theft.
Estate planning is vital to ensure that your assets are protected, and your wishes are honored if something happens to you. If you have any questions about the basics of Trusts and how to empower your desired Trustee, call 916.247.6868. I will happily work with you and your Trustee to ensure your family will have less stress after you pass.