An important step in creating a will and estate plan is naming your trustee, personal representative, and agent. This part of the estate planning process can often be difficult, because it can be hard to find trusted individuals to fill these roles. At Carlson & Work, our estate planning attorneys can advise you on which individuals you should choose to fill the roles of your trustee, personal representative, and agent.
A trustee takes responsibility for the finances that are in a trust. Trustees manage the money of a trust and must use the money in the best interest of both current and future beneficiaries of the trust. All assets within the trust are considered to be safe and under the control of the trustee. Trustees must also prepare any records on behalf of the trust, such as financial statements and tax returns. Trustees should communicate with the beneficiaries of the trust and keep them up to date on the status of the trust.
A personal representative is the executor for the estate after the individual passes away, and acts as a fiduciary of the estate’s beneficiaries. A personal representative collects the property of the estate after you die.
An estate planning agent handles an estate after you pass away and makes decisions for you if you are not capable of making them for yourself.
Factors to Consider When Naming Your Trustee, Personal Representative, or Agent
- Reliability: A trustee, personal representative, and agent will all be handling your finances and personal affairs, so it is important to choose individuals who you find to be reliable and trustworthy to fulfill these roles.
- Availability: The roles of a trustee, personal representative, and agent are all long-lasting and sometimes, time consuming. These individuals are in charge of notifying every one of your passing and distributing your property to your beneficiaries.
- Responsibility: These roles are important and require accountable and sensible individuals to fulfill and complete the jobs of the roles.
- Organization: There are many tasks associated with the job of a trustee, personal representative, or agent, including gathering and identifying all assets, taking inventory of the estate, canceling credit cards, filling out final tax returns, and paying off funeral costs. An individual acting in the role of a trustee, personal representative, or agent is required to be extremely organized.
- Location: Oftentimes, it is easier for your trustee, personal representative, and agent to be located within close proximity of you and your estate.
- Age and health: Being a trustee, personal representative, or agent for an estate can be a rigorous and strenuous process. It is wise to choose individuals who are younger and in good health to fulfill these roles.
Ultimately, the individuals that you name to fulfill the roles of a trustee, personal representative, and agent must have your best interests at heart. For more information and guidance on how to name your trustee, personal representative, and agent, contact Reno, Nevada’s Carlson & Work today at 775-386-2226. Our estate planning attorneys can assist you with the process.