As with many things, you can approach estate planning in more than one way. Some people do the bare minimum, while others see a more comprehensive picture.
The steps you take during the planning process will determine how quickly and efficiently your loved ones receive their inheritances. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the role of the estate administrator.
Executor or Trustee
If you decide to use a will as your asset transfer vehicle, you will name an executor or personal representative in it. At your passing, this person would then handle all the tasks that must be completed to bring your wishes to fruition.
When you use a trust, the administrator you name is a trustee, who will serve the same role. In either instance, you can name someone you know personally to assume the role, or there is another option.
Trust companies and the trust departments of banks offer professional fiduciary services. This can be a better choice under certain circumstances.
Letter of Last Instructions
Imagine stepping into the role of an estate administrator yourself. You must identify all the assets in the estate and prepare them for distribution to the heirs. As the point of contact, you must pass on all relevant news to the interested parties.
If you were to undertake these tasks without the relevant information being readily available, it could be a problem.
Because of this, when you plan your estate, you should always include a letter of last instructions.
There are no hard and fast rules and this document may or may not be legally binding. It is intended to provide the administrator the information needed to do the job effectively.
You should share the names and contact information for your professional contacts (attorney, accountant, life insurance agent, etc.) and for the people you want notified about your death.
The letter should include the location of all relevant documents and login information for digital and financial accounts, including social media accounts, websites, and blogs. Your administrator will need to have access to the keys to your physical property, storage units, and lock boxes, so you must identify where they can be found.
If you have made funeral arrangements in advance, you must provide this information to the estate representative in your letter. You should also provide instructions about your desired burial or cremation and funeral arrangements.
Attend a Free Webinar
Since you are on this website, you are probably seeking information about estate planning and elder law topics. You can explore hundreds of posts on this blog and other written resources offered free of charge.
If you would like to take your knowledge to the next level, we have some great opportunities coming up in the near future. Our attorneys are holding a series of webinars, and this format is ideal because you don’t have to go anywhere to participate.
There is no admission fee involved, but we do ask that you register in advance so we can reserve your spot. You can find the dates and obtain more detailed information by visiting one of our pages: Oklahoma Webinar Page – Kansas/MO Webinar Page.
After you identify a session that fits into your schedule, follow the simple instructions to register.
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Information is great, but at some point, you will reach the conclusion that it is time to put a plan in place. If that time is now, our doors are open.
You can schedule a consultation in Oklahoma City or Tulsa by calling 405-843-6100, or in the Overland Park, Kansas area by calling 913-385-9400. We also have a contact form you can use to send us a message.