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Choosing an Executor, Agent, or Trustee

 Posted on June 07, 2017 in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning lawyerEstate planning in Illinois or any other jurisdiction is more than simply determining what legal documents are most appropriate to protect the value of your assets after death and achieve the goals and desires you have for the disposition of your property. Equally as important as choosing the right estate planning documents is choosing the right person to handle your affairs and exercise the powers those estate planning documents provide.

The Dangers of Selecting the Wrong Individual

Regardless of whether you named an individual as executor and administrator of your will, as a trustee overseeing your trust, or as your power of attorney, your estate planning documents give the individual significant powers. In the wrong hands, this person could potentially:

  • Appropriate your estate assets for himself or herself;
  • Drain your bank accounts, retirement accounts, or other financial accounts;
  • Make healthcare decisions that are not in accord with your own desires; or
  • Engage the services of unscrupulous “professionals” who may further reduce the amount of assets you may have available for your own use or the benefit of your heirs and beneficiaries.

Therefore, it is important that you choose the person who will wield these powers carefully. Some of the factors you might consider include:

  • Is this a person that I trust? Above all else, you should choose a person who you find to be trustworthy. This may or may not be a family member. You should not feel compelled to give these important powers to someone you do not believe will faithfully carry out your wishes and desires.
  • Is this a person that my family and beneficiaries will respect? Consider carefully if your family members, heirs, and beneficiaries will have faith in your choice’s ability to fairly and faithfully carry out his or her duties. A poor choice can cause your family members, heirs, and/or beneficiaries to second-guess the individual’s judgment and file needless lawsuits.
  • Is this a person who has or who can acquire the requisite knowledge to carry out his or her duties? While the individual you select need not have served as another person’s executor, power of attorney, or administrator, he or she should be capable of learning the requisite skills necessary to carry out his or her duties. Someone who is not able to read legal material or ask for assistance from a professional will have a difficult time fulfilling his or her obligations.

We Can Help

Trust the dedicated Lombard estate planning lawyers at A. Traub & Associates to help you in crafting a personalized, enforceable, and effective estate plan. We can not only advise you as to the estate planning documents you may need to achieve your goals, but we can assist you in selecting the right individual to serve as your executor, administrator, trustee, and/or power of attorney. Contact us for help with all of your estate planning needs.



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