Estate planning is something that everyone should take care of early on in life. This is the process of anticipating and arranging during a person’s life for the management and disposal of that person’s estate following death.

An important part of your estate planning will be choosing an executor/personal representative.  If you decide to use a living trust that person is called a successor trustee.  The person taking on these roles is responsible for administering your assets after your death and ensuring that your final wishes are carried out. Often, a family member such as an adult child or spouse is chosen to be a personal representative/successor trustee. This decision is entirely up to you and who you’re comfortable with carrying out these duties. This person may carry out some or all of the following:

-Distributing assets to named beneficiaries
-Take inventory of the entirety of the estate
-Pay remaining bills from the estate such as funeral costs
-File a final personal income tax return for the deceased
-Notify banks, credit card agencies, and government agencies of the death

The sooner you create an estate plan and protect your family, the better. Once you’ve put together your estate plan, we recommend going over it with your loved ones so everyone is prepared in the event of a death.  Using a living trust can also avoid probate and provide a mechanism to handle your assets if you become incapacitated.

Estate planning can seem like an overwhelming topic. This is where our experienced attorneys at Hillyard, Anderson, and Olsen come in. Our Estate Planning attorneys can guide and advise you throughout your planning process. We’re here to answer any questions you have regarding estate planning. To schedule your appointment with us, give us a call at 435-752-2610.