Executer, Guardians & Trustees in Houston
Houston Estate Planning Lawyer
Part of complete estate planning is the wills, trusts, and other legal documents that determine how your affairs will be managed. A knowledgeable Houston estate planning attorney will know the appropriate documents to prepare and how to prepare them correctly. Just as important is determining who will execute your wishes once they have been laid out. When Clausell Law Firm does estate planning, we do it with your specific needs and wishes in mind. Clausell Law Firm feels this should include your understanding and decisions regarding the persons you want to administer your affairs. Whether you estate is large or modest, it is a good feeling to know that those you care about will be properly taken care of.
Three main roles that need to be carried out are those of executors, guardians and trustees. These functions can be done by one person or by different persons. An executor sees that the instructions of your will are carried out and handles any legal formalities regarding your estate.
The duties of this person can include:
- Ensuring all required taxes are paid in full and on time
- Maintaining full and accurate accounts
- Seeing to the funeral arrangements for the deceased
- Gathering all the assets of the estate
- Making certain that property of the estate is distributed according to the terms of the will
- Paying off any debts the estate may have
- Keeping the benefactors informed regarding the estate
An executor should be someone who you feel would properly handle the duties and that you trust to carry them out.
Guardian and Trustee Roles
A vital decision for any persons with minor children is who will take care of them if you and your spouse die. This is the role of the guardian. A guardian will be the person who will raise your children if you pass away before the child reaches the age of 18. They will be legally able to make any decisions you would have made as a parent. Decisions such as the child's education, their religious upbringing and other important decisions will be made by this person. The court has the final say regarding who the guardian for your child will be. In the vast majority of cases, the court will follow your wishes. The person you choose can be a family member, but doesn't have to be.
A trustee administers any trust that you have created. Their job may involve investments of estate assets along with distribution of money from the trust. More than one person can be assigned to this duty. A trustee may have the power to hire professionals, such as attorneys and investment advisors, to assist them in their actions. The actions that they take need to conform to your instructions and this is where a well-written trust document can benefit you. The person or persons you choose to assume this role should be very trustworthy and ethical. Clausell Law Firm would like you to feel comfortable in about your choices for any of these important roles. Choosing the correct persons can go a long ways towards you feeling comfortable about your plans for the future.