I binged the Crown recently (don’t be so judgy LOL. In episode 4 of Season 4, The Queen sets up meetings with each of her four children to see them, for the first time, as humans and decide who is her “favourite.” This got me thinking about our estate planning and the roles we usually fill with our grown children (ok, now you can judge me).
After all of the Queen’s luncheons with her children, she realizes that her detached style of parenting may have caused her children’s depression, despair, and inability to connect with others in a meaningful way (you think?). She acknowledges that she was so busy being a mother to the country and was hardly a mother to her own children.
While we’re not that busy running a country (on most days), it’s important to put a little thought into our agents names in our estate planning documents Most of us include our adult children to act on our behalf should we not be able to act for ourselves. To best fit the child with the role, it’s important to understand the positions we’re attempting to fill.
1. Backup power of attorney – this will be a person that can make financial decisions on your behalf should you not be available to make them. We usually look for people that are responsible and trustworthy to fill this role.
2. Backup healthcare proxy – this will be a person that can make health-related decisions on your behalf should you not be available to make them. We usually look for people that are both local and caring and empathetic to fill this role.
3. Personal representative – this will be a person that will administer your estate, the executor of your will. We usually look for someone organized and responsible to fill this role. In Florida, the Personal Representative must either be a Florida resident OR your lineal descendant.
4. Trustee – Depending on the nature of the trust, this will be a person that manages on ongoing basis the funds in the trust on behalf of the beneficiaries. We usually look for people that have a good relationship with the beneficiaries and are responsible.
These rolls can be filled by the same person or can be filled by two people, acting jointly or independently. Often the positions that we fill are the most challenging part of creating the estate plan and a royal exploration of our favorites may be necessary. Either way, our office is here to guide and assist with the roles in the estate planning documents, we’re here for you.
Call our real estate and estate planning lawyers today at (954) 832-0885 to discuss your real estate and estate planning questions. Schedule an appointment today by giving us a call.
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