How Do I Choose the Right Trustee or Executor?

In July of 2017, the widow of actor Alan Thicke responded to a petition filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by the co-trustees of the Thicke estate regarding her prenuptial agreement with the late actor. The trustees, who are sons of the late actor, alleging that their father’s widow was threatening to make their family dispute public if the co-trustees failed to acknowledge her claims regarding certain community property. Unfortunately, the situation occurring within the Thicke family is not unusual when family members and the trustee have a history of animosity towards each other. After going through the difficult process of creating a will or trust, choosing the right trustee or executor is vital since your choice can affect how well your final wishes are carried out.

Commitment and Professionalism

The executor of an estate is required to spend a long period of time doing a job that is usually thankless. During his or her time as trustee, the person you choose will need to deal with businesses, the Internal Revenue Service, probate court officials, and exasperated beneficiaries.  Whoever you choose must be committed to seeing that your final wishes are carried out and able to act with professionalism under stressful circumstances. It is necessary to make sure that the person you name is able to manage the task from beginning to end.

Overall Ability

Once you find someone who you feel is professional and committed, you must ask yourself if he or she is able to handle the job. A good heart and noble intentions cannot counter-balance an inability to manage money or make critical decisions. The trustee or executoor may need to make choices regarding investments, property, and business assets. Whoever you choose must have the ability to manage your estate and safe guard the inheritance you have left for your beneficiaries.

Conflicts

It is natural for a person to select an oldest child, current spouse, or oldest sibling to act as trustee or executor. However, failing to take potential conflicts into consideration when naming the administrator of your estate could lead to serious problems in the future. A beneficiary who has alienated your trustee in the past may object to your choice and even go so far as to seek his or her removal. Also, other beneficiaries may question the impartiality of your trustee if he or she makes decisions regarding your estate that benefit them at the expense of your other heirs.

Get Neutral Advice

Deciding who to trust with the duty of executing your will is not something that you must do on your own. Discussing your options with an estate lawyer gives you an opportunity to receive neutral advice from someone who understands the importance of choosing the right administrator. MMZ Law knows that protecting your legacy is of the utmost importance and we are prepared to provide you with the legal advice you need. Conveniently located in Claremont, California our lawyers can aid you with all aspects of estate planning. Contact our office today at 909-256-6702 to schedule a discreet consultation.

*We service Elder Law through Medi-Cal Asset Protection Planning

BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

MMZ LAW, A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION

341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711

MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning Asset Protection, Trust & Estate, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration, & Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont but assists clients throughout Southern California.

This information is educational information only and not legal advice.

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Taking the right steps now will help you build up your legacy and allow you to live it for many years to come. Here at MMZ Law, we help clients throughout California with a wide range of estate planning services to help you prepare for whatever life throws your way so your assets will be protected.