Although we would like to think that we will live forever and have perfect health throughout our life, it just isn’t so. After you are no longer able to look after yourself, who will? You may have heard of the term fiduciary. A fiduciary is someone who is legally obligated to act in another person’s best interests. Examples of fiduciaries in your estate plan are: Trustees, agents, and executors.
A successor trustee will be responsible for making sure your wealth is passed on and managed in accordance with your wishes after your death or incapacity. It’s best to have a trusted person or financial institution carry out this vitally important role. The language in your trust should be as clear as possible so that your trustee knows exactly how to handle various situations that can arise in asset distribution.
Powers of Attorney-Agents
Your power of attorney is the document in your estate plan that appoints individuals to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself. Here are two common types to cover in your estate plan:
Financial Powers of Attorney
Financial powers of attorney grant individuals the ability to take financial actions on your behalf such as withdrawing money from your accounts to cover your costs.
Health Care Powers of Attorney
Health care powers of attorney cover a wide range of specific actions regarding an individual’s medical needs, such as making decisions about the types of care you receive.
Your executor is the person who will and carry out your wishes based on your last will and testament and if needed see your assets through probate. Being an executor can be hard work and may have court-ordered deadlines, so it’s crucial to pick someone you know will be up for the job.
Sam Swenson is an Estate Planning and Business Attorney in Orangevale. He assists individuals and businesses in protecting their assets. Contact our office at 916-333-0833 to set up your free Estate Planning Consultation.