Posts Tagged ‘estate plan’
If you are a parent you are probably willing to admit that you are not always perfect. This is a good thing to keep in mind when you are contemplating who would take care of your minor children if something were to happen to and your spouse. No parent wants to imagine this scenario, but taking some time to consider who would make the best guardian for your minor child(ren) will likely give you some peace of mind; and although you won’t find a perfect replacement for you, you can likely find the best fit for your child.
When choosing a guardian here are some things to consider:
1. Is this person or couple’s parenting style similar to yours?
You may find it helpful to make a list of what is most important to you and choose according to your top three or four priorities. You may decide, for instance, that having someone who shares your parenting philosophy is more important than where they live. Once you have decided on the person or couple who is the best match, it is important to talk to them to make sure they are comfortable being named as guardian(s).
It can also be helpful to remember that the chances that the guardian you have chosen will have to act in that role are very small. It is a big decision, but keeping this perspective can make it less daunting.
When to Step Up Care for a Parent
There are many signs that a parent needs help. Financial indicators include overdue utility bills or disruption in utility services. Bounced checks or undeposited income checks laying around the house also show a lack of financial engagement that may indicate financial danger. Engagement in scams or lack of awareness around charitable giving can both show a decline in capacity and may mean your parent has already becomes a target of financial elder abuse.
Personal care indicators are most significantly marked by falls or other critical health events, but there are often earlier, more subtle signs that help with personal care i needed. A lack of unexpired, edible food in the refrigerator and cabinets will prevent proper nutrition, which leads to physical decline. While elders often eat less as they age, excuses such as I’m not hungry, I really only want canned food, etc. often indicate that food preparation is an issue. Hygiene changes may indicate unaddressed incontinence or difficulty bathing, laundering clothes and toileting.
What Does A Trustee Do?
A trustee manages the assets that are held in a trust. When an individual or married couple places their assets in a revocable living trust, they often name themselves the trustee or co-trustees. In that case, they are able to continue managing their assets in basically the same way that they did before they put them into the trust. They can still use their bank accounts to pay their bills and make purchases just like they did before. They can maintain their home or make renovations to it if they wish. They can invest their assets and manage those investments however they choose. When you are the trustee of your own trust, not much really changes about the way that you deal with your assets.
When acting as trustee of someone else’s trust, a trustee manages trust assets according to the terms of the trust. If the trust terms state that the trust is to be used for an individual or group of individuals, then it is the trustee’s job to invest and manage the trust assets prudently and to pay the expenses of the beneficiaries according to the trust terms. The trustee may be required to account to the beneficiaries, unless this requirement is waived. There are a number of fiduciary duties that a trustee assumes when taking on the role of trustee. Consulting an attorney familiar with trust administration is a necessary step to ensure each trustee is aware of his or her fiduciary duties. There are very few blanket statements that can be made about all trusts, since the duties of trustees and rights of beneficiaries vary according to the specific trust document and its terms.