If a family member or friend has asked you to serve as trustee for their trust either during their life, or upon their death, it’s a big honor—this means they consider you among the most honest, reliable, and responsible people they know.
That said, serving as a trustee is not only a great honor, it’s also a major responsibility, and the role is definitely not for everyone. Serving as a trustee entails a broad array of duties, and you are both ethically and legally required to properly execute those duties or you could face liability for not doing so.
In the end, your responsibility as a trustee will vary greatly depending on the size of the estate, the type of assets covered by the trust, how many beneficiaries there are, and the document’s terms. In light of this, you should carefully review the specifics of the trust you would be managing before making your decision to serve.
Remember, you don’t have to take the job. That said, depending on who...
When it comes to estate planning, you’ve most likely heard people mention a couple of different types of wills. The most common is a “last will and testament,” which is also known simply as a “will.” But you may have also heard people talk about what’s called a “living will.”
Both terms describe important legal documents used in estate planning, but their purpose and the way in which they work is very different. In fact, using the term "living wills" is actually outdated in many states and not used anymore.
Let's talk about some of the most critical things you should know about what living wills are, and why having updated documents to replace these, is an essential part of every adult’s estate plan and how to get yours created or updated.
1. What Is A Living Will?
A living will, in some states is often called an “advance healthcare directive,” and is a legal document that tells your loved ones and doctors how...