Setting up a trust is one thing. Choosing the person who will be in charge of investing the assets within the trust is another. That person must be skilled at maintaining records, handling taxes and staying on top of payments to the beneficiaries of the trust. That person is the trustee, and he or she will usually be a family member, trusted friend, financial professional or perhaps yourself. Alternatively, hybrid trusts exist in which a Texas trustee is named to administer the trust, but a financial professional is hired to invest the assets.
Trustees, Executors & Fiduciaries Archives
The University of Texas is involved in a lawsuit at the center of a dispute. The University asserts that actor Ryan O'Neal stole a painting that was designated for the school as a result of the estate planning of Farrah Fawcett with the use of trusts. They say that the painting was included in a trust left by the actress. The painting is one created by artist, Andy Warhol.
People in Texas know well that estate planning can help them achieve their goals as they relate to the distribution of assets after their death. What they may not understand is the vast array of options that they have to choose from to achieve these goals. Because there are so many choices, including trusts and wills, many find it helpful to review all applicable laws and procedures as they enter the estate planning process.
Planning an estate in Texas involves making use of many available tools. Most commonly, people in our state use wills and trusts to make their wishes as to estate division known after their death. Using these types of estate planning tools, an individual can work to ensure that their beneficiaries are taken care of after they die.
As a person ages, it can be difficult for their family to determine what, if any, actions should be taken to assist them with their daily needs. This is especially true if an elderly person begins to show signs of dementia or other age-related diseases. Some in the field of elder care refer to the earliest stages of dementia as "the grey zone." In such cases, families in Texas sometimes turn to guardianship alternatives such as a power of attorney.
When a court appoints a guardian to care for an elderly or disabled person, the individual appointed is entrusted with the responsibility to oversee and make many decisions in the best interests of the person under their care. Other times, guardianship alternatives such as powers of attorneys are used. No matter which approach is followed, sometimes the person entrusted with the guardianship may misuse financial resources or otherwise abuse or neglect the person whose welfare they have been entrusted with. Texas Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has co-sponsored, with Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the Guardian Accountability and Senior Protection Act, which cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 12, and is now headed to the full Senate for voting.
An executor of an estate has many responsibilities. Not only must they administer the estate of the deceased person, but they also must meet important fiduciary duties. These duties can include, among others, providing an accounting of the assets and debts of the estate in addition to reporting to the court. When an executor fails to meet their duties, beneficiaries can end up in court demanding accountings, or in extreme cases, asking for the removal of the executor.
Rosa Parks is known as one of the famous civil rights activists in America History, but this civil rights icon's estate has been mired in conflict and litigation. Rosa Park's estate plan provided that her possessions would go to a charitable institute dedicated to the education of black youth and community betterment. Unfortunately the charitable work of the estate and its trust were hindered by unnecessary litigation.
Estate planning provides people with peace of mind. If something was to happen to you, would you have the proper documents in place to make sure your wishes are followed? The distribution of assets can be dictated through a will, which many people tend to overlook. Sometimes people, who aren't of old age, think they don't need to worry about what will happen to their belongings.