Grief and duty mix following a family member's death. Relatives nearest to the deceased are often assigned the roles of executors and trustees with time-sensitive duties to perform. Fiduciary responsibility begins the moment someone dies and continues until estate assets are distributed, as directed by the decedent or a court.
California parents who keep contents of their estate plans confidential aren't doing heirs any favors. Children can be disappointed, and sometimes angered to the point of litigation, by making assumptions about inheritances or roles as fiduciaries.
Trusts can be essential to an estate plan. Individuals can spend a great deal of time deciding which assets are placed in a trust. Estate planning advisors say equal consideration should be given to choosing the fiduciary or trustees who will manage the trust.
Legal professionals stress choosing estate executors and trustees carefully. One of the reasons is the enormous financial responsibility that trustees carry for beneficiaries of an estate. The person assigned to a trustee position must have the competence and professional advice and resources to do the job.