How can you know if you have the right executor or trustee?

Choosing the right trustee or executor makes a major difference in your estate plan. If you already have a will or trust, now is a good time to review who you appointed to be your executor or trustee, so you can be sure you made the right decision.

There are several ways you can make sure that you've chosen the right trustee or executor. For one, you'll want to know that the person you appoint isn't afraid to ask for advice from a professional. Nothing can cause your assets to dwindle more quickly than someone who spends or invests without the background needed to do so safely.

Sometimes, it's in your interest to appoint more than one person as an executor or trustee. For example, if you have two adult children who you trust equally and who have different strengths and weaknesses, then you may opt to appoint both. That also makes sure that they hold each other accountable for their actions. Remember that whoever you appoint could end up arguing over the details of your estate, so you should be cautious if you choose to appoint family members.

Finally, always review your decision every few years. As things change, someone you appointed in the past may no longer be a good fit as your executor or trustee in the future. It's possible to remove someone who you no longer know or talk to and replace that person with someone you're close to or trust with your future now. If you need to make changes like naming a new trustee or executor, your attorney can help make amendments to your will or trust.

Source: AARP, "Choose the Right Executor or Trustee," G.M. Filisko, accessed July 13, 2017

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