As a third follow-up to my previous blogs about “The Talk” Part One and Part Two, I thought I would address what else should be discussed outside of health care decisions. Therefore, this blog will discuss what should be talked about with your other decision makers (i.e., Successor Trustees and Personal Representatives). Moreover, “The Talk” Part Four will cover your discussion with your Beneficiaries and people not included in your estate plan. Do you want to provide documents to them? Do you want to use diagrams or charts? Do you want to include your attorney in “The Talk?”
The answer to these questions will depend on whom you are talking with. Again, you want to provide your Successor Trustee and decision makers with more detailed information than a loved one that is not part of your estate plan. Sounds simple enough but there are specific things you want to include.
The most common question I receive from clients is whether they should provide the successor trustee with a copy of the whole trust. In short, the answer is no. However, you do need to make sure he/she have access to the trust (i.e. knows where to find it). Our clients are given a location list document; a summarized list of the locations of all your important documents. The main reason a copy of the trust should not be given is because you may change whom the successor trustee will be, and you do not want to have an out dated trust floating around. Keep in mind you do want to show him/her the trust and explain how the trust is set-up. You may even want to have him/her join you at a meeting with your attorney to help explain how the trust works and his/her future role.
If your personal representative is different from your successor trustee, you want to make sure he/she also has access, and know the location, to the appropriate documents. You also want to make sure they understand how you want your finances handled if you were to become incapacitated. He/she also needs to know where all your financial information is located because your personal representative’s job will be to maintain your finances and pay all your bills.
Call us today to speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys at MH to talk about your specific situation.
Contributed by an MH Phoenix Estate Planning Attorney.
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