Your comprehensive estate plan will include a number of different documents in addition to your living trust. Each of these documents gives various “helpers” you select the power to act on your behalf in different capacities.
Too often, we see situations where children are named in order of birth to serve as a helper in various roles without any significant thought as to their ability (or lack of ability) to act effectively. Although order of birth may be a factor to consider when selecting your helpers, it is not the only factor that should be considered.
We encourage our clients to talk with children in advance of naming them in their estate planning documents to determine their level of interest, ability and availability. Additionally, by setting proper expectations in advance, your children will be less likely to be surprised in an emergency situation that they are named to fulfill some role (or not named as the case may be).
The topics on the right will explore what qualities you should look for in different types of helpers.