Don’t Leave Your Fiduciaries Floundering (Part 2)

Estate Planning Attorney Woodland HillsContinuing from Part 1, here are 2 more suggestions you can do to make the task of being a fiduciary easier:

  1. Digital Assets. As e-commerce and money transfers become more common, consider adding a second called “Digital Assets” and include the following:
    1. Online only accounts like PayPal
    2. Accounts which you have opted to access online, such as banking accounts, online businesses or activities involving the electronic transfer of funds.

It would also be of assistance to leave your online account information and passwords in a secure location that your legal representatives can access — bearing in mind the need to protect the information itself from theft.

You may also wish to leave your legal representatives guidance as to how you want your digital legacy (including your digital photos, social media pages, and so on) dealt with upon your passing.

  1. Personal Instructions. You may wish to write a letter to your legal representative, which is kept with your documents to assist him or her in administering your estate. There is no particular format for this letter, but common sense should be the main ingredient. For example, your letter should tell matters that would be hard to find out or interpret without your assistance, such as:
    1. Identities and location of particular heirs and beneficiaries and your desire to help or provide or not to help or provide for particular person in particular ways and for particular reasons;
    2. Reasons for particular items of property being important to you or other persons, e.g., historical or sentimental material and any other historical explanations to help people understand your estate plan and any other thing or sentiment that you have;
    3. Claims against and defenses against the claims of other people, including the basis therefor, the amount of such claims and the basis therefor, any witnesses or other evidence that would be important with respect thereto and where it is located and why, including any information need by your estate to collect your assets and to defend against claims that you believe should be defended against and why;
    4. Secrets about anything that should or you want to be passed on;
    5. Your overall philosophy about anything you deem important and what you intend to be accomplished by your estate plan and how you feel about it particular heirs and persons that you want to leave something to and that you do not want to leave something to.
    6. If children or other logical people that would inherit from you are to be disinherited in whole or in part, the intention to do so should be stated, although your reason for this action may be better omitted than included if there is any chance that the reasons could be challenged and proven false in order to avoid the disinheritance on the basis of probable mistake, waivers, consents or contracts that might not be found or understood after your death.

If you have any specific questions pertaining to fiduciary duties, please contact our Estate Planning Attorney in Los Angeles today: (818) 501-5800.

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