It’s Greek to Me (Published 09-2018)
Friends and colleagues of ours are heading out for a two week vacation in Greece. They are celebrating their 30th anniversary with a few days in Athens and then the rest of the time on the beautiful island of Milos.
It should be an amazing trip, and also a reminder to all to make sure that your estate plan is up to date before you leave.
Things to double check and update as needed. Do you have the right people in the right places?
The executor of your will is often the same person as the trustee of your trust and is responsible for making sure that all assets not held by your trust are transferred to your trust.
These are the key actors in most estate plans. The Trustees are responsible for collecting and managing all of the trust assets (whether in trust or coming in by will). They are responsible for investing and distributions, all in accordance with the terms of the trust.
Health Care Proxies
These are the people who make decisions with regard to your health care in the event that you are not able to make those decisions for yourself.
You may have other important jobs assigned to various people. Make sure they are all in alignment with your current wishes.
Make sure that all assets have been funded into your living trusts to make probate easier and more efficient for your trustees and heirs.
Make sure someone knows where your documents are kept and provide them with a list of names and contact information for all of your key professional advisors.
Now go and enjoy with the peace of mind that your plan is solid and up to date.
Matthew V. Piwowar is a Grand Rapids estate planning attorney. Mr. Piwowar is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, and the State Bar Probate & Estate Planning Section, the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys, and the Michigan Forum of Estate Planners.
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