There are many types of professionals that are considered to be fiduciaries, including attorneys, real estate agents or brokers, accountants, business advisers, bankers and financial advisers. Then there are others such as trustees and executors that don't necessarily have to be trained professionals like the others described above. They can be asked to assume fiduciary duties for another person. There are lots of responsibilities associated with acting as a fiduciary for someone else.
Posts tagged "Executors & Fiduciaries"
Once you decide to create a trust, you'll be faced with a variety of questions that require your attention. For example, you need to choose a trustee. And when doing so, it's imperative to name the right person.
It doesn't matter if you're creating a will and naming an executor or someone has asked you to serve in this capacity, it's critical to understand everything the role entails.
People in Texas need to plan for where their property will go after they pass away. One very effective way of doing that is to create a trust and transfer their property to the trust. As part of the trust they will need to appoint a trustee. This individual will be responsible for managing the property and eventually distributing the property to the beneficiaries of the trust.
There are many situations where people in Texas rely on other people to do things for them. They have other people fix their cars, provide medical treatment, fix HVAC issues and provide other services for them. They need to trust that the professional hired to do the job will do what they say they are going to do and perform the work correctly. This is also true after people die. They need to choose personal representatives and trustees that will do what they are supposed to do for the beneficiaries of the trust.
This blog has previously discussed a trustee's duty to the beneficiaries of a trust. Among other things, a trustee must refrain from self-dealing or conflicts of interest, must manage the trust according to the legal requirements and must act in the best interests of the trust.
Many Houston residents may have executed a document called a power of attorney as part of their estate planning. This document appoints a person, or group of people, as attorney in fact for a Houston resident's estate.
Many residents of Houston understand the meaning of "decanting" when the subject is fine wine. Decanting involves pouring a wine that has sufficiently aged into a bottle that allows the wine's sediment to separate from the wine. Decanting also adds oxygen to the aged wine to improve its flavor. The same word -- decanting -- is now being used to describe a technique for managing the assets in irrevocable trusts.
When a resident of Texas dies, the property of the decedent must be distributed to the decedent's heirs and beneficiaries according to state law. If the person dies with a will, the person who oversees the collection and distribution of the decedent's estate is called an executor. If a person dies without a will, the state will appoint a person called an administrator to oversee the liquidation of the decedent's estate. In both cases, the person who is put in charge of handling the estate is called a "personal representative," and that person owes a fiduciary duty to the estate and to the decedent's heirs and beneficiaries. But, what, exactly, is entailed in that fiduciary duty?
Making a will can be a complex tax. The maker of the will must give considerable thought to who will be beneficiaries under the will, specific bequests of property, charitable donations and similar issues. One of the most important decisions is choosing an executor to carry out the instructions in the will. Many Texans wonder if there are rules or guidelines for choosing an executor. The answers to these questions depend in a large part on the nature of the estate.