Wednesday, February 17, 2010


[Excerpt From Dwight's E-Book:  "The Seven Most Common Mistakes Made in Estate Planning"]

Only you know your family.  Be realistic and honest with your estate planning attorney when you meet with him or her.

Most families have problems, and it is important to understand that communicating the facts to your lawyer is essential.

The 2 big decisions made by clients in forming a will or a trust is the selection of a personal representative, and who will be the beneficiaries and what will they get.

In living trusts, the personal representative is called the "Successor Trustee".  It is not by mistake that trusts are called trusts.

In a trust, the person named to the Successor Trustee will manage the trust and settle the trust without court supervision in private.

The trustee you name has to be trustworthy.  It is a mistake to name the oldest son as the trustee just because he is the oldest son, especially if he has been in jail for theft-related crimes or has a bankruptcy on his record, or is known to have money problems.

Clients are often afraid to offend someone or violate traditions, or worse, they turn a blind eye to the drinking and drug problems of one of their adult children.

Many families face the same difficulties.  However, you want your estate to be handled honestly and efficiently.

Truthfully evaluate your family and pick the best trustee.  If there are no suitable family members as trustee, talk to your attorney about it, as there are alternatives.

Trustees not only have to be honest but capable.  All of us have family members who are extremely honest, but are not good managers.  You want to select a trustee who is honest and can handle your affairs when you pass away.

An experienced estate planning attorney will be of great help to you in evaluating your estate plan options.

To download the complete E-Book, visit my website at:  TOMPKINS-LAW.COM

Dwight Edward Tompkins, Attorney at Law

This blog is intended for information purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified estate planning attorney in your jurisdiction.

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