If you have been named trustee, you will have a variety of responsibilities that you must tend to. Note that you cannot use ignorance as defense if you are sued for mismanagement of the assets of the trust. If you a successor trustee, when you come on board, you have the exact same responsibilities and duties as the initial trustee and will be held accountable if you do not handle the trust in a responsible fashion. If you find out that your predecessor mismanaged the trust, it is your responsibility to bring it to the attention of the beneficiaries and your co-trustees, if any. If acting as trustee is not something that you are interested in doing or you cannot continue to do so because of personal circumstances, you may resign as trustee. If you have been acting as trustee for a short period of time, it is prudent to account to the beneficiaries for your acts and proceedings as trustee before you resign. This will ensure that you are released of personal liability with respect to your trusteeship period. As long as you are acting as trustee, you must act with prudence and fairness. Since you Read more [...]
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Estate planning is a process that should ideally start when you are still fairly young and continue throughout your life. For most people, the first step is having a simple Last Will and Testament put in place, and then from there, add additional options over time. As your estate grows and evolves with you and your family, you will need to have trusts in place to help avoid probate, ensure privacy, prevent contest, protect your assets, minimize expenses, and minimize/defer death tax exposure. Learn more about Wills and trusts to see what type of testamentary planning you may benefit you and your family.
Will is the most basic form of estate planning that’s needed. Even very complex estate plans, require a Will to be present in most cases since it serves as ideal way to complete certain tasks. Some activities that Will can be used for include:
Name Guardians. If you have minor children, the Will is the way that you can specify who you would like to become their guardians.
Name an Executor. You can name the executor of your estate in your Will so that the proper person is responsible for collecting, managing and distributing your assets. Often, the executor is also responsible for making tax-advantageous elections for your estate and beneficiaries.
Testamentary Trusts. You can use the Will to create trusts. For example, the Will could state that all assets not covered by other estate planning will go into a trust for your descendants.