There are four estate planning documents to be prepared for by your attorney:
Trust, Will, Durable Power of Attorney [Finance], and Advance Health Care Directive
You will need to name the right person for the job:
Successor Trustee, Executor, Finance Agent, and Health Care Agent
Who have you decided to name as your Successor Trustee? A family member, friend, Private Trustee, Bank or other Professional? The job of Trustee has a great deal of liability and responsibility, that come with years of work.
What To Ask
Ask your attorney, “What is my Successor Trustee expected to do when I resign, become incapacitated or pass away?”
Ask the following questions of everyone you are thinking of naming as the “one in charge” when you are gone:
- Does my successor trustee have experience and expertise in handling finances? Good accounting and bookkeeping skills? Trust and Estate tax experience?
- Will my successor trustee remain objective, responsive and compatible with all beneficiaries of the trust and other members of the family?
- Will my successor trustee be able to devote sufficient time to the management of the trust, unburdened by other obligations such as a job or a family, for three or more years?
- Is my successor trustee also a beneficiary, causing a “Natural Conflict of Interest”?
If you select a professional as your successor, give yourself an opportunity to get to know the person. Is the individual you are interviewing licensed or exempt from licensing? Professional Fiduciaries Licensing Bureau - www.fiduciary.ca.gov
Find out which organizations they belong to (like the Professional Fiduciary Association of California) and what training they have received (designations such as, Certified Trust and Financial Advisor from the Institute of Certified Bankers or Certificate in Professional Fiduciary Management for Trustees, Cal State Fullerton).
If you select a Bank or Trust Company, meet the Trust Officer who you will be working with and ask enough questions to feel comfortable with your selection. We encourage you to keep learning about your Estate Planning Process.
We are here to help you succeed.