What to Do When the Time Comes

In the owner’s manual, you’ll receive when you establish your estate plan, we provide trustees with a checklist of the very first steps to take immediately upon your death or incapacity. (Each client’s surviving spouse or other successor trustee is also entitled to a free meeting to assist them upon your death or incapacity.)

  • Trustee duties: More detailed instructions to your successor trustee regarding the immediate steps of administering of your trust upon death or incapacity.
  • Direction letters: Your instructions for funeral and burial and for distribution of certain, usually less valuable items of personal property such as family memorabilia, antiques, jewelry and home furnishings.
  • Location list and family information: Where your important documents and assets can be located and the key professionals and other people to notify upon death or incapacity, along with their addresses and phone numbers.
  • Checklist to help review your plan: This helps identify when you may need to come in to update or revise your plan. (Each client is offered the opportunity to come in for a free review of their estate plan every three years.)
  • A special DVD: This explains how a well-drafted and maintained Living Trust plan works and serves as a helpful review for you in the future as well as an invaluable aid to your successor trustee and beneficiaries.

Plus…The “Successor Trustee Manual”

This manual is chock-full of helpful, plain-English checklists and easy to follow, step-by-step procedures based on our firm’s unique experience in handling over 4,000 trust administrations after clients have passed. This manual will be invaluable to your successor trustee(s) in helping minimize potential legal fees, aggravation and anxiety! This manual includes:

  • A few important “do’s” and “don’ts”: Most people have never served before as a trustee of a Living Trust. These easy-to-follow instructions will quickly identify the things they should do and, maybe even more importantly, the things they shouldn’t do!
  • Checklists of actions: Plain-english checklists to assist the trustee – whether the trust maker has just become ill or disabled, whether an individual or the first spouse of a married couple has passed away, or the surviving spouse of a married couple has passed away – so the trustee knows what critical items need to be done in each of these circumstances.
  • Working with advisers and beneficiaries: Some helpful tips on how to successfully work with attorneys, financial advisers, accountants and trust beneficiaries to ensure a smooth administration of the trust.
  • Trustee duties, powers and liabilities: These chapters will assist the trustee in knowing what powers and duties they may have in their role as trustee as well as what limitations they may have!
  • A “quick start” DVD and much, much more: A short DVD to get the trustee started (particularly if he or she doesn’t want to read a manual!) as well as helpful tips and guidance on various aspects of serving as trustee such as investing, record-keeping, income and estate taxes, distributions to trustees, transitioning to another trustee and termination of the trust. This manual is a must-have companion to the Living Trust owner’s manual!

Plus…The “PAT” Beneficiary Manual

This manual provides a complete A through Z guide to everything a client’s beneficiaries need to know to properly set up and utilize our unique “Personal Asset Trust,” which may have been designed for them to control and access their inheritance while affording them greater asset protection. This manual is the critical “missing link” that will help a client’s loved ones avoid costly mistakes that could wipe out their inheritance!

This manual includes a short, “quick start” DVD to get the beneficiary started with properly using the “PAT” (particularly, if he or she doesn’t want to read a manual!). From investing, purchasing, refinancing and selling assets to record keeping, income taxes, estate taxes, and financial and estate planning for the beneficiary, this manual comes complete with just about anything and everything any beneficiary needs to know to properly setup, implement and utilize his or her “PAT”!

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.