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Top 5 Reasons People Don't Have Wills

  1. Procrastination
  2. Not knowing they need one
  3. Affordability
  4. Limited time to make a Will
  5. No forms that work for them
Your Child.
Your Spouse.
Your Partner.

Don't leave them victim to the uncertainties of Texas Probate Law.

Selecting Trustees

The role of the Trustee is arguably much greater than that of an Executor, and right up there with the Guardian for your children.  This is very likely a long term position and is one of great trust and a high level of responsibility.  The person you name in this role may certainly hire financial advisors, accountants and attorneys to assist them, but they need to have good financial sense and are the ultimate decision makers when it comes to distributing money for the benefit of your children.

The Trustee role is a fiduciary relationship, similar to the one banks and brokerage firms have to customers and investors.  The Trustee named in your last will and testament should know how to manage finances and be trustworthy.  Sometimes that is a family member, sometimes it is a good friend and sometimes it is a corporate Trustee.  When you make your will the key is to pick someone objectively and not choose a person just because you think you should or not choosing them will hurt their feelings.

Here are some ideas to keep in the back of your mind while thinking of your choice for Trustee:

  1. For smaller, less complicated estates it is usually best to use an individual as Trustee and for larger, more complicated estates you should look at the possibility of a corporate Trustee
  2. Trustees are typically compensated and reimbursed for expenses associated with the Trust, like hiring an accountant, financial advisor or attorney to assist with managing the trust
  3. You should name alternate Trustees in the event one Trustee cannot serve, so when you are choosing which last will and testament form to use make sure this option is available (the Secure Wills™ will template has this option)
  4. It is generally a bad idea to name two or more Co-Trustees to serve at the same time because of the possibility of decision making issues and legal action between the Co-Trustees, so just because you want your two children to think you love both of them the same does not mean it is in their best interest to name them as Co-Trustees
  5. The role of the Trustee is long term and will take a fair amount of effort so choose someone up to the task
  6. The Trustee does NOT have to be the same person as the Executor or Guardian, but the same person can sit in some or all of the roles without any problem
  7. The Trustee will be managing your children's estate, communicating with the Guardian (if not also the Trustee) and distributing funds to your children based on certain needs, so give this position careful though before choosing the Trustee – it is a big deal!

Once you have identified the Trustee(s) you need to input their names accurately and fully when you make your will, whether using a free last will and testament form or the more secure, accurate and Texas based will templates provided on the Secure Wills™ website.  Don’t state “Bill Smith” when the legal name is “William Tell Smith”.  The inaccuracy can cause significant problems.  In addition, don’t simply state “my accountant” or “my bank”.  Instead, clearly write your accountant’s name and the full legal name of the bank to insure your intentions are fulfilled properly.


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