As I began writing about in last week’s post, there are a number of important factors to consider when deciding who to name as trustees, powers of attorney, health care surrogates, and executors while working on your estate plan. Here are a few more tips to keep in mind:
4. Pick the best agent for today
Especially for those who do not have children, the answer of who to choose as an agent may not be obvious. If the person who would be appointed as agent is older, there’s a chance that person would be the first to pass away. If someone is considering appointing a friend, they may worry that the friendship won’t last and that that person would not be a good choice or be willing or able to serve as their agent when the time comes.
However, it’s most important to choose the person who would be the best agent for today. If the situation changes in the future, changes can also be made somewhat easily to agents, trustees, and executors named in estate planning documents.
5. Consider a professional trustee or fiduciary under certain circumstances
For some people, the best option may be to appoint a professional or institution as a trustee. For example, this may be best if you have a beneficiary whose share of the estate will be held in trust so that they will not get all of their inheritance at once. If discretionary distributions are left up to family members, this can be detrimental to the relationship between the family members involved.
Additionally, professionals and institutions are better at dealing with issues that arise for those with substantial wealth or generational trusts. In certain situations, the fees for these services are well worth it.
Estate planning documents are incredibly important to have, but the agents you appoint determine whether or not your plan succeeds. It’s essential to make the best choice possible when appointing these agents, and these tips can help you as you are making these decisions. You will also want to consult a professional who can advise you on the best options for your specific situation.
For help with your estate plan, contact us at Wilson and Wilson Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC at 708 482 7090 for our main office in LaGrange, Illinois or at 847 656 8958 for our Northbrook, Illinois office.