Financial Fiduciaries (Agents, Guardians, Executors, and Trustees)
A fiduciary is someone who accepts the responsibility for taking care of the property of another person for the benefit of that person. Your estate plan will include the appointment of financial fiduciaries.
Qualities to look for in fiduciaries:
These people will fill the following roles in your estate plan:
Agent: the person responsible for taking care of your property while you are still alive pursuant to a Power of Attorney.
Guardian: the person responsible for taking care of your property while you are still alive pursuant to a court appointment.
Executor: the person who will be responsible for probating your Will, paying your last debts, filing tax returns, and distributing the assets of the estate to your beneficiaries.
Trustee: the person who will be responsible for the long-term management of any property left in trusts for your beneficiaries.
For some people, the thought of leaving a $5 million trust under the supervison of a brother-in-law that likes to dabble in the market causes some concern. For larger estates, the Duran Firm recommends that clients consider having a professional trustee oversee the long-term management of trusts left to their children.
Last Will and Testament
Please describe who will receive your property at your death. Please remember that "pay on death", "transfer on death", and other similar beneficiary designations on your accounts take priority over the terms of your Will.
Powers to be granted in the Power of Attorney
Medical or Health Care Agents in case of your Incapacity
Please designate medical agents who will be responsible for making personal and medical decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so. These persons will be named as your Agents in a Medical Power of Attorney and will be named as the Guardians of your Person in a Designation of Guardian form.
Living Will –
Your wishes in case of permanent or terminal medical incapacity will be expressed in your Living Will, also referred to as a Directive to Physicians.
When death is expected within six months, no matter what.
If, in the judgment of my physician, I am suffering with a terminal condition from which I am expected to die within six months, even with available life-sustaining treatment provided in accordance with prevailing standards of medical care:
When death can be delayed indefinitely; example = feeding tube.
If, in the judgment of my physician, I am suffering with an irreversible condition so that I cannot care for myself or make decisions for myself and am expected to die without life-sustaining treatment (such as a feeding tube) provided in accordance with prevailing standards of care:
Care and Custody of Your Minor Children
Please designate the persons who will take physical care of your minor children should both parents die or become unable or unavailable to make healthcare decisions
The authority granted to any temporary Health Care Surrogate shall include, but not be limited to the following (check all that apply):