One of the biggest decisions to make when drafting estate planning documents is selecting the people you trust to do the job of helping you if you cannot help yourself, or after your death. Sometimes, it is an easy decision but other times it can be so difficult, as to even prevent someone from even drafting documents. While there is no perfect checklist for choosing people to appoint in positions of trust, here are some things to consider:
- Executor of your Estate:
- Function: carries out the wishes you set forth in your Will, manages and distributes assets.
- Considerations: someone who has time, can manage finances, is comfortable completing forms, or someone who will seek professional assistance to get the job done properly.
- Agent under Durable Power of Attorney:
- Function: makes financial decisions and carries out transactions if you are alive but unable to do so yourself.
- Considerations: someone who has time, who can manage finances, and who will manage your assets as you would if you were capable.
- Health Care Representative under Health Care Instructions:
- Function: makes medical decisions and decisions about day-to-day affairs if you are alive but unable to do so yourself.
- Considerations: someone who has time, someone who will listen to your medical wishes while you can still express them, and someone who is familiar with medical terminology.
- Guardianship over minor children:
- Function: person who will be legally responsible for any child under 18 years of age.
- Considerations: someone who the child is comfortable with, who is involved in the child’s life, who may embody parenting styles that are important to you and/or similar to yours. Someone who’s current location is convenient (i.e. in the same or similar school district or close to other family members), or someone who would consider moving to where the child already lives.
If you are interested in learning more about the duties of the positions of trust and how to select the person or people you want to name to do the job, please contact our office.