In last week’s blog, the duties of an executor were discussed to help Georgia residents make informed decisions regarding who would be responsible for carrying out their wishes as outlined in their wills. This week, discussion turns to the other positions in estate administration that also need to be filled. Crafting an estate plan that fits all of an individual’s needs, desires and goals often requires trusts and powers of attorney, which all need someone to represent his or her interests.
The agent appointed in a financial power of attorney will conduct an individual’s financial affairs during a period of incapacitation that may or may not be temporary. All of the accounts and assets that an individual has built throughout life could be in this person’s hands. This document — along with a health care power of attorney — is often designed to be valid until the death of the individual who created it or until the person recovers and is once again able to take care of matters without assistance.
Trusts are often active during the life of the grantor (the person creating the trust) and after death. During life, the grantor often serves as the trustee, but someone needs to be named in the trust to take over its administration upon death. He, she or they will be responsible for managing the trust’s assets on behalf of its beneficiaries.
Considering the importance of these duties and the ramifications for not making the appropriate decisions, choosing people to fulfill these roles requires careful consideration. At the very least, each person responsible for one of these estate administration jobs needs to understand what the Georgia resident hopes to accomplish and is willing to make sure it happens. Furthermore, alternate agents or trustees need to be appointed in case someone declines to serve in either capacity when needed — even if they previously agreed to do so.
Source: thetimesherald.com, “Estate Planning: Choose the right person for the job“, Matthew Wallace, Sept. 9, 2016