Thursday, April 27, 2006
Before naming anyone as a fiduciary (executor, trustee, guardian, etc.), the person should be shown a draft document and asked if the person would be willing to serve. It is costly, both in terms of time and money, if the named fiduciary refuses to accept the position.
This basic principle was discussed in today's Dear Annie advice column. See Dear Annie, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, April 27, 2006, at B3. Here is an excerpt from the a reader who wrote in using the nomination "R.I.P. (Not)":
This is a plea for all parents. Please do not appoint someone trustee or guardian unless you know they are willing to take on the responsibility. My husband begged his mother not to make him trustee over her estate, but when the lawyer read the will, guess who got the job?
Mom left my husband as trustee over money to be held for nine great-grandchildren. He will be 81 before the last one comes of age. His younger sister has to go through him to get at her inheritance because his mother felt she would spend the money foolishly. Maybe she would, but at least she would have a decent relationship with her brother.
Please don't try to control your children from the grave. It just might kill them.