The task of a fiduciary (e.g. executor, trustee or attorney in fact), when you are no longer around or able to provide guidance, can be a difficult one. He or she is charged with the job of gathering/marshalling all your assets. Effectively he or she is taking your place when you are unable to act or are no longer with us. To make that task easier, there are a number of things you can do. Here are some suggestions:
- Non-Legal Records. There are documents, in addition to the legal ones, that may also assist your legal representative. Consider adding a section called “Records” and include the following:
- Any information on pre-paid funeral or cemetery arrangements;
- A list of valuable assets (such as stocks/bonds, artwork, jewelry, collectibles) and their location (such as closet safe, freezer, lockbox under bed);
- Deeds for real estate holdings (residential, commercial or timeshares) with copies of related insurance policies;
- Any bank or brokerage statement showing the account is titled in the name of the Trust;
- Pink slips or other registration certificates for vehicles, boats or recreational vehicles.
- Anything else owned in your name either alone or jointly with someone else, along with where to find it.
- Potential Debt. Debt continually fluctuates and the list may change, however, many items of debt (on a more general nature) remain the same. Consider adding a section called “Debt” and include the following:
- Mortgage information, including how and where payments should be made.
- Credit Card information, including the name of the credit card, the account number and whether there are any other authorized users.
- Any other loans or guarantees in your name either alone or jointly with someone else, along with where to find it.
We will discuss 2 other things you can do to make the task of being a fiduciary easier in the next Estate Planning Blog post. If you have any specific questions, please contact our Estate Planning Attorney in Woodland Hills today: (818) 501-5800.