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Appointing the right people in an estate plan

Choosing who will fulfill various roles in an estate plan is important, but it may also be a difficult part as well. New York residents may be postponing the creation of an estate plan because they cannot decide who to appoint as executor under their will or for other roles, or they might already have people in mind. However, they might want to discuss those choices with an attorney who may be able to assist in evaluating their fitness for the position.

For example, positions such as executors and trustees are best held by people who have a strong sense of organization. A background in finance is helpful as well. On the other hand, people chosen to be guardians of minor children or who will be in charge of healthcare decisions should have good people skills.

Another important aspect of choosing people for roles in an estate plan is communicating with them about that choice. People should understand the obligation and give their consent to it as opposed to finding out when a person becomes incapacitated or dies.

Discussing other aspects of the estate plan with loved ones is also important. This helps to ensure that a person's wishes are understood and carried out. It may reduce the likelihood of conflict or challenges. People may also want to work with an attorney to make sure that they prepare documents correctly and use the right legal language. Small errors could result in a delay in asset distribution or a misunderstanding of the creator's intentions. An attorney may also be able to discuss options and tools that people may not have considered, such as a trust.

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