Many estate arrangements involve the relationship of a trustee and a beneficiary and the creation of a fiduciary duty. The individual who has been named as the estate trustee is likely to be the fiduciary and the beneficiary is the principal. Before going down this road, it is important for all Houston residents to understand the legal obligation they are creating and the responsibilities created by it.
Posts tagged "Executors & Fiduciaries"
It's important to remember that a will is merely one tool available to people looking to put together an estate plan. Depending on one's specific situation, there may be other tools that should also be used to create a good plan. These other tools could include trusts and powers of attorney.
Many people do not realize that there are several different types of Power of Attorney. Each serves a specific purpose and has its own set of rules as to when it will come into effect, as well as when it will cease. Below, we discuss the four most common types.
Residents who are taking the necessary steps to protect themselves and their estates will want to know all the different tools that can be used under estate planning laws. One is a durable power of attorney. With a durable power of attorney, there will be another person (an agent) who is granted the power to make decisions on behalf of the person (the principal), when the principal is unable to do so. This can involve health care and end of life care, among others.
While previous posts on this blog have mentioned that Houston, Texas, residents have the option of hiring a bank or other institution to act as a professional fiduciary, executor, or trustee, in most cases, Texans are going to rely on a close family member or friend who is like family to manage their property.
Many of the relationships that this Houston, Texas legal blog mentions frequently are what the law calls "fiduciary relationships." To elaborate, guardians, executors of estates, attorneys in fact and trustees all have a fiduciary status, meaning that they have special legal obligations to another person or group even outside of a contract or other law.
"Undue influence," is a legal term that many Texas residents might not be familiar with. It can come up in contract situations, but for the most part our readers will likely hear this term in regards to estate planning. Trustees, executors and fiduciaries, along with heirs and beneficiaries, need to be familiar with the term.
Residents of the Houston area likely know that having an estate plan is important, but they may avoid this process for a variety of reasons. For most, it is probably that they just don't understand many of the terms involved, which can admittedly be quite legal-sounding, like "trustees," "executors" and "fiduciaries." It is important to know what these terms refer to and what power these roles hold in an estate plan.
Houstonians who are aging and their loved ones will inevitably consider the future and how to make certain that the elderly people or those with issues that might lead to incapacitation are protected. This is particularly important if health and competence are clearly in decline. These are complex issues that require families to work together to make certain that any issue in dispute is mitigated and the person is adequately protected. This is why it is imperative to have legal help for these matters.
Many Houston residents may have heard the phrase "power of attorney" used in the context of estate planning without fully understanding what the terms means and how it can help an individual or a couple prepare for their old age and, ultimately, their last illnesses and deaths.