Tips for choosing an executor or trustee

While Arizona residents and others may benefit from simply having a will or trust, it is still important to pick the right person to oversee them. An estate representative or trustee should be young and healthy enough to effectively act on a deceased person’s behalf. Those who insist on choosing representatives who might not outlive them are encouraged to name alternate representatives or successor trustees. It may also be a good idea to name a corporate entity to act as an executor or trustee.

The key benefit of doing so is that a corporate entity is likely to survive longer than a typical person will. Therefore, there is less need to worry about it not being around to act in either of these capacities. However, one should be aware that professional representatives tend to charge more for their services. Furthermore, professional representatives may act in a sterile or relatively inflexible manner to meet the needs of shareholders and regulators.

It is almost always a good idea to review trusts and other estate plan documents regularly after they have been created. This helps prevent a situation in which a former spouse or estranged family member is the trustee or otherwise has a say in how a person’s assets are managed.

Creating a will, trust or other estate planning documents may give an individual greater control over his or her assets. A trust may allow a person to hold assets outside of his or her estate, which may provide an opportunity to avoid probate. Assets held in a trust may also be protected from creditor claims or being lost in a divorce. An attorney may help a person create plan documents or review those that have already been created.

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