Having an estate plan is critical to ensuring the right people are in place should you ever be unable to take care of your needs.
When you create a living trust, you appoint a successor trustee to be in charge and manage the trust in the event you are unable to do so either because of incapacity or death. Your trustee is bound to administer the trust by a fiduciary duty. Generally, this means that the trustee must act in each trust beneficiary’s best interest. Find out how this happens.
Stepping into the role of trustee can be emotional and stressful and disagreements may happen. The trust must dictate how the co-trustees need to proceed when they disagree. This could be by unanimous decision, majority rules, and in worse case scenario, a court must break a tie. Co-trustees is a risk that can lead to hurt feelings and family strife. Learn some tips on how to avoid this.
It is incredibly important to recognize that you have emotional and physical needs, and to take preventative steps so that you do not compromise your personal well-being. If you do not fill your own cup, who will? If you are in need of some suggestions for caregiving resources in your area, please contact our office at (408) 286-2122. We are always here to help in any capacity we can, either as attorneys or as a resource.
You should feel really proud of yourself if you have done your estate plan. You made it easier for your family to care for you if you become incapacitated, and you have avoided the probate process at your death by creating a living trust. Did you finish your estate planning homework? Did you actually fund your trust?
A holographic will is a handwritten will (no typing on the computer) that is valid in California if it meets certain requirements identified at California Probate Code §§6110-6111. Although it seems cost-effective to be able to simply jot down your final wishes next to that crossword puzzle you were trying to finish, there are potentially some major pitfalls.
When you are healthy and independent, it can be hard to imagine a life where you cannot make decisions for yourself. Change, however, can happen suddenly and it is important that you empower your family to speak for you if you have an accident or a serious illness. Talking with your loved ones now and proactively planning for the future is the best way to ensure that your desires will be respected.
As a caregiver, you take on the emotional struggles of day-to-day life, but you must also deal with the practical, everyday tasks of making sure everything is up and running. If your loved one cannot provide for his or her own personal needs (e.g., dressing, bathing, clothing, medication management) or manage his own financial resources (e.g., pay bills, manage a checkbook), then as a caregiver, you become responsible for all of these tasks.
When a loved one passes away, it is an emotional and stressful time. Unfortunately, while you are still grieving, you do have to face the practicalities of trying to figure out how to settle your family member’s affairs. The hope is that you know exactly where that estate planning binder is; however, if your loved one never did any estate planning, you may be facing probate.
On behalf of Lisa Bryant of The Law Offices of Lisa C. Bryant, Inc. posted in Trust Administration.
Last week, we went over some basic differences between the trust administration and probate processes. This week, we need to go over some terms so that you and your loved ones can understand your legal options for dealing with a deceased family member’s estate.