A fiduciary is an entity who has the legal obligation and power to act on behalf of someone else in situations that require loyalty and trust. There are many different roles in the process of your estate after you’ve passed away as well as roles that can impact things during your life that involve fiduciaries.
Two of these are executors and trustees. These fiduciaries are responsible for settling your estate with the directions outlined in a trust or your last will and testament.
If you pass away with no will, the court still must appoint someone to serve in this role. When it comes to an executor, this person is responsible for gathering all of your assets and settling your final tax obligations and debts from estate funds and then distributing any remaining assets to the rest of your beneficiaries.
A trustee is responsible for managing those assets that have been put into a living trust. This fiduciary has the responsibility to act in accordance with the directions outlined in the trust agreement just like an executor has to follow the terms of your will.
When you create a revocable living trust, you most likely establish yourself as your own trustee. This is why it is important to appoint a successor trustee to take over in the future if you were to become incapacitated. With an irrevocable living trust, however, you don’t even have the option to name yourself as the trustee.
You must appoint someone else to serve in this role from the beginning. To learn more about important people and roles you can appoint in creating your estate, schedule a consultation with an estate planning law firm.
A New York estate planning lawyer should be hired as soon as possible once you’ve decided to create a trust.