Estate planning involves consideration of the time when you are incapable of making your own decisions or when you are deceased. This requires the choice of representatives to administer your estate. One of those representatives includes your trustee or personal representative. If you have a trust or will then you have selected someone to perform the hands-on tasks involved in administering your estate. This individual should possess a certain measure of business acumen to handle all of the affairs of the estate. Property will be liquidated in most cases, there will be bills to pay, and the executor will have to bring in a probate attorney and in many cases an accountant and an appraiser. It is natural for some people to automatically choose someone close to them to be a personal representative, but it is not merely a ceremonial role. The practical responsibilities that accompany this title is something to take seriously.
There may come a time when you can no longer make sound medical and financial decisions for yourself. To address this issue you should be prepared with a durable power of attorney for health care and a durable financial power of attorney. Again, you should consider your choice of representatives carefully. You don’t have to select the same person to serve both roles. In many cases the best financial mind is not going to be the person that you would like to see making your medical decisions.
Choosing the people who will take care of your affairs upon your death or incapacity is an important part of the process of estate planning. Careful consideration should be given to who who would fill these important roles in your estate plan.
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