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  • Writer's pictureRichard McGinnis Staff

How Do I Pick a Trustee for My Will and Trust?

While meeting with the McGinnis law firm is easy, one of the hardest parts of the process in creating your estate plan with a Roseville attorney, is deciding who will be the trustee or administrator of your will and trust. There's a lot to consider in selecting the right person to be the legal owner of your assets in the event of your passing. The person you choose, you must be able to literally trust with your life. They should be reliable, have no conflicts of interest and be responsible with their own affairs and finances.

Creating an estate plan with a qualified attorney in Roseville is the best way to ease any conflicts about your choices of who should be the decision makers in your life. By having your wishes in writing, in black & white and on paper, your estate plan and our office as executor, will make your decisions clear.

You will need to decide who will govern your financial assets, medical decisions and guardianship of any dependents. They do not all have to be the same person. Some things to consider when selecting a financial trustee are:

  • Is this person going to be in your life for the long term?

  • Do they have your best interests at heart?

  • Are they trustworthy?

  • Do they have a handle on their own financial affairs or have substantial debts?

  • Will they abide by your wishes even if they are not a beneficiary as well?

  • Are they good at handling paperwork, taxes and handling business in general?

  • Would having prior knowledge of your assets themselves or sharing that knowledge with their associates cause you harm in any way?

The role of the financial trustee in your estate plan includes:

  • Following the terms of the trust document and administering it as instructed by an estate planning attorney

  • Being unbias with all beneficiaries involved

  • Being a good steward and being loyal to beneficiaries of the trust as outlined by your Roseville attorney

  • Avoiding being in a conflict of interest with other beneficiaries

  • Taking inventory and legally separating and identifying trust property

  • Being responsible and prudently managing and investing the trust’s assets

What to Consider When Selecting a Medical Healthcare Proxy

One of the most important considerations in establishing your estate plan with a qualified Roseville attorney is who will make medical decisions on your behalf. Your estate plan doesn't just deal with your finances or the circumstances of your death, but a far too common scenario of being incapacitated or disabled. Even in the event of being temporarily unable to speak, your estate plan and advanced healthcare directive will give you the peace of mind and your healthcare team the information needed, to contact the right person to make decisions for you in case of an emergency. Instead of scrambling to make a last minute decision or critical life-saving decisions being left up to the person you happen to be with at the time, plan out these important life choices in advance with Roseville attorney Richard W. McGinnis.

Some things to consider when selecting a healthcare proxy are:

  • Do they consistently answer their phone and are they easy to get a hold of?

  • Do they live physically close enough to be present in an emergency?

  • Would they be too emotionally upset to make a critical decision in a life-threatening situation?

  • Are they emotionally stable enough to deal with the repercussions of the decisions to be made?

  • Is the person you choose to be your medical proxy good at making quick decisions?

  • Is the person good under pressure?

  • Do they have medical knowledge or their own experience dealing with the healthcare system, advocating, doctors or hospitalizations?

  • Do they know and understand your wishes and would they honor them even if it was against their own belief system?

  • Would this person be the right choice in the long term in the event of an extended hospitalization or chronic illness?

The duties of the healthcare proxy include:

  • Decisions about your medical care, tests, treatments, therapies, medications and surgery.

  • If and when you will get medical treatment

  • Pain management medicine and procedures

  • The decision within your estate plan to start or stop life support

  • Getting a second opinion about your medical treatment plan

  • Advocating for the patient with doctors

  • Applying for government insurance programs like Medicare and Medi-Cal

  • Helping to keep all medical appointments, manage referrals, prescription refills and more.

  • If and when you will get moved to another hospital, nursing home or hospice.

  • Managing a person's care in the hospital, outpatient and in-home care arrangements.

  • Educating themselves about the person's medical condition and treatment options.

  • Maintaining communication with the person's healthcare team and treatment options.

  • Keeping the family updated about the person's medical condition and treatment plan.

  • Getting medical records.

If you need help making these critical decisions by a qualified attorney in Roseville, The Law Offices of Richard W. McGinnis offers free estate planning consultations. Serving the city of Roseville, and all of Placer and Sacramento counties, the McGinnis law firm helps make these decisions simpler. Book a virtual or in-person consultation by appointment Monday – Friday from 8 am to 4 pm.

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