When you create estate planning documents, you must select trustworthy people to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacity or death. Obviously, you want to choose individuals that understand your wishes and will do everything they can to ensure your estate plan is properly executed.
Once you have selected people to serve in these roles, it’s important to choose successors who can step forward in the event your first choices are unwilling or unable to serve.
Here are several common estate plan documents where you should name a successor – and perhaps even two successors:
Last Will and Testament
If your personal representative dies before you, becomes incapacitated, or simply refuses to serve, the court will appoint someone to take over unless your will names a successor personal representative.
Health Care Documents
Most people choose a spouse to serve as their agent in health care documents, including living wills and health care powers of attorney. In many cases, however, a person’s spouse is similarly aged. If you both live well into old age, your spouse may be unable to serve as your agent. This is why it’s a good idea to name a successor agent who can take over if your original choice can’t act on your behalf.
Financial Powers of Attorney
A durable power of attorney can give an agent broad authority over your finances. Your successor agent should be just as honest, mature, and trustworthy as your primary agent.
In many cases, a trustee exercises broad discretion over the management of the trust’s assets and also wields the authority to decide when distributions are proper under the terms of the trust. You can either name a successor trustee yourself or create trust terms that give your trustee the authority to appoint a successor trustee.
Minnesota Estate Planning and Probate Law Firm
Call the Minnesota probate and estate planning attorneys at Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC today our office today to learn more and to discuss your options.
This website has been prepared by Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.