Are Your Helpers Prepared?

In Articles, Estate Planning, October 2018 by Richard Chamberlain

Written by Richard Chamberlain, Founder and principal attorney
of Chamberlain Law Group, Ltd

For the last several years I’ve written for The Steward about how important it is to have an effective, customized estate plan designed to meet your planning needs and goals. The right estate plan will make it possible for you to make sure your assets are handled appropriately with the least amount of cost, hassle, and risk.

Equally important, but often overlooked, is making sure that your helpers (your Agents in the Powers of Attorney, your Executors in your Will, and your Successor Trustees in your Trust) are prepared to help when the time comes. They need to know what their responsibilities will be and when they will need to act.

These days, most people name their adult children or their siblings as their Successor Trustees, Executors and Agents, and that is generally a very good choice. However, they usually don’t have the experience with the legal processes involved to be able to know what needs to be done. This issue has led us to write some Guides to help our clients and their appointed helpers understand the estate administration process.

For clients with Will Plans (or who have parents who have Wills as the foundation of their planning), we’ve written “You’re Named the Executor. Now What?? Seven Things an Executor needs to know BEFORE doing ANYTHING.” This Guide takes people who are named as Executors through the responsibilities that must be accomplished in order to ensure that the Estate is handled properly in accordance with Ohio law. Special attention is given to potential pitfalls that could cause an Executor to be personally liable to the estate’s creditors and/or beneficiaries.

For clients with Trust Plans (or who have parents with Trust Plans), we’ve written “Successor Trustees: What You Need to Know Now.” This Guide helps the people named as Successor Trustee in a trust understand what their role is if the Trustmaker becomes incapacitated and when the Trustmaker passes away.

Of course, our firm is ready and able to assist with any estate administrations that arise, and we will be there to advise the Successor Trustee or Executor and to prepare the necessary paperwork for filing and documentation of the estate administration. In the meantime, you may want to take a look at these Guides, or pass them along to the people named as your Successor Trustees or Executors in your estate plan.

Just call my office (419-872-7670) and ask for the Guide you want, or send me an email.