wills and estates
Application to Appoint an Estate Trustee
At Tannahill, Lockhart & Clark Law, we have significant experience and knowledge about making an Application to Appoint an Estate Trustee. We provide our clients with the legal counsel and guidance they will need to appoint an Estate Trustee.
The Role of an Estate Trustee or Executor of a Will:
We often get the question from our clients when they are nominating a Trustee in their will whether that person needs to have experience managing financial issues. The answer we provide them is no, they don’t. The most important thing that a Trustee must know is what the wishes of the deceased were and familiarity with the assets and affairs of the deceased. A trustee can always work with an accountant or lawyer to deal with the more complicated part of administering an estate.
An Estate Trustee’s obligations are to distribute the assets of the estate in accordance with the will, pay off any debts of the estate, and to guard the value of the assets of the estate before they are distributed. With regards to guarding the value of the estate, you do not need to be a financial guru or an investment wizard; you need simply to act in a reasonable manner to ensure that the assets are not spent in an entirely frivolous manner.
For example, if you sold investments during a downturn in the market to pay debts and distribute the money to beneficiaries, your actions would be seen as reasonable. However, if you invested the entire estate in a dubious pyramid scheme investment without proper due diligence and lost all of the money you could be in trouble. It is important to note that the Estate Trustee is personally liable for the distribution of the estate. That means if you were negligent as estate trustee your assets could be at risk in a lawsuit personally; not just the assets of the estate.
It should also be noted that there are additional responsibilities of a Trustee when they are the trustee of a person who has passed away without a will.
Further information and resources on Wills and Estates Law from Tannahill, Lockhart & Clark Law:
To view a video that we have produced on the subject of Choosing an Estate Trustee, click here.
To read our list of Frequently Asked Questions on the subject of Wills and Estates, click here.
Take advantage of our years of experience and knowledge:
Contact us today to learn more about how we may be able to guide and assist you with all of your Wills and Estates planning, Power of Attorney and Estate Trustee designations, and related legal issues.