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Trustees Executors & Fiduciaries Archives

How much info should you give your family about your estate plan?

When you're creating your estate plan, you'll need to determine what details you want to share with family members and what to keep to yourself. Of course, there are some things you'll need to discuss with at least one or more family members. For example, you need to get someone's agreement before making them your executor or trustee or giving them power of attorney or other fiduciary responsibility.

Choosing the wrong trustee can be a costly mistake

Among the most important decisions you'll make as you create your estate plan is naming the trustees and successor trustees of your trusts. A dishonest trustee can take all of your hard-earned assets and keep them from the loved ones and beneficiaries you intended to leave them to.

Why revocable living trusts take precedence over wills

A comprehensive estate plan is often comprised of a number of documents. It's crucial that they don't contradict one another. This can cause confusion, delays and expense when it comes time for your executor(s) to settle your estate. Therefore, if you make changes to one document, your estate planning attorney can advise you if similar changes need to be made to other documents to ensure continued consistency.

What items are worth selling at an estate auction?

Your last living parent or perhaps another elderly relative whose estate you were chosen to administer has passed away. They never got around to downsizing and decluttering -- something we talked about recently. They've got a home filled with items that go back many decades. Some may have considerable monetary value, while others may only have sentimental value -- and maybe not even that.

Don't forget to update your estate plan before you remarry

If you're planning to give marriage a second (or maybe third) try in the new year, you likely have more assets and people to protect that you did when you married the first time. A prenuptial agreement can help you and your partner protect the assets you bring into the marriage and ensure that the financial well-being of any children you have from previous relationships is protected.

Don't forget your passwords when developing your estate plan

You're drafting a detailed, well-thought-out estate plan with your attorney. You're stipulating your wishes for your assets clearly so that your administrators can carry out your wishes. You've also got powers of attorney designated to handle your finances and oversee your health care if you become seriously injured or disabled and can't speak for yourself.

Do your holiday family plans include a discussion of your estate?

As we approach the holidays, many Americans are committing to finally discussing their estate plans with their family members. This may be the only time of the year when everyone is together in one place. Whether you have most of your decisions made or need input from your family before beginning to draft the plan with your attorney, some discussion is always best. This can help prevent conflict, confusion and surprises after you're gone.

When is it time to choose assisted living for your loved one?

Admitting that the health and abilities of your loved one is deteriorating can be hard to do. However, when a person is suffering from ill health more frequently or they are having falls often, it may be time to explore the best interests of your loved one.

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