There is a lot of good advice in an article that appeared in The Bryan County (GA) News, “What should you know about trusts.” One basic fact: it is important to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to evaluate your needs and to set up any trusts. Trusts are very effective, but they are also very complex. Not all attorneys have the extra training and legal acumen to design and administer trusts. Make sure that any attorney you meet with has the right training and experience in this area of the law.
Selecting a trustee is an important decision, as he or she is legally bound to manage the trust’s assets for your beneficiaries. Before you select your oldest daughter or another family member, ask these questions:
- Does he or she have the experience and knowledge to manage your financial affairs in a competent manner?
- If (s)he must make a decision that may impact family members, will (s)he act in a fair and unbiased manner?
- Will naming a family member as trustee create issues for the family?
- Does your prospective trustee have the time to manage your trust?
- Does (s)he want this major responsibility?
- Do you have another person in mind to serve as trustee if the trustee you selected can’t do it?
Give considerable thought into who you ask to take on these roles. You can also ask a financial institution to serve as trustee, but be sure to inquire about costs and the services they provide.
A critical part of our firm’s estate planning process is our “family care meeting” to communicate to the fiduciaries and responsible adult children what the plan is and what you intend to accomplish so there is no misunderstanding. No need to talk numbers, just give them a dry run and educate them about the plan. Communication is essential, as people get hurt feelings if they have no idea what to expect. Get your loved ones on board with your estate plan so that you’ll feel even more comfortable in putting your plans in place.
For more information, explore our website and contact us to schedule a consultation today!
Reference: Bryan County (GA) News (August 2, 2015) “What should you know about trusts”