One of the most important aspects of estate planning is the designation of fiduciaries: the people entrusted to manage our affairs, in accordance with our intentions. Because life takes twists and turns, attorneys advise naming both fiduciaries and successor fiduciaries who are prepared to step in.
Executors, Personal Representatives, Trustees, Guardians…
Depending on location, circumstance and the specifics of estate plans, fiduciaries may be referred to by a variety of specific names, such as executor, personal representative, trustee, guardian and conservator. Underlying the details and tasks each of these fiduciaries becomes responsible for, is a shared, legal responsibility to put the affairs of the estate and its beneficiaries ahead of personal interests. All fiduciaries are held to high standards,encompassing the duties of loyalty, care, good faith, confidentiality and prudence.
When it comes to selecting the fiduciaries who will execute a will, administer a trust, or serve as a guardian or conservator for loved ones, it’s common to appoint a relation or friend. Though it can be tempting to name multiple individuals to each role, doing so can end up creating challenges for everyone involved, especially given busy lives. For example, in a family with three adult children, appointing all three as trustees, can lead to delays every time documents or accounts need attention. Sometimes, appointing a professional fiduciary makes good sense, and can relieve relations and friends from excess worry and stress. Ultimately, regardless of who is appointed to fiduciary roles, it’s best to additionally name back-up fiduciaries, who are prepared to step into action should they be needed. Accidents, career responsibilities, parental duties and illnesses are all examples of disruptions that can impact the lives of fiduciaries–and make successor fiduciaries key:
The best way to ensure that individuals you know and trust will carry out your intentions in the event of your death or incapacity is to name as many successor fiduciaries as possible. At a minimum, I recommend naming one successor to each of your first choices. These fiduciaries include an executor of your estate (referred to as a personal representative in Massachusetts and some other states), a trustee of your trust(s), an attorney-in-fact named in a Power of Attorney document, and a health care agent named in a health care proxy document.
Fiduciary Bonds Explained
Fiduciaries have significant, legally binding responsibilities. Given the gravitas of the role, a type of bond, often referred to as a fiduciary bond is often required. Depending on the specific responsibilities to be undertaken, the bond may alternatively be referred to as a conservator, guardian, trustee, personal representative, executor or estate bond. The essential purpose of every type of fiduciary bond is to serve as a guarantee that duties will be carried out in accordance with the law, and in the best interests of beneficiaries. Colonial Surety makes it easy and speedy for fiduciaries in every state of the country to obtain their bonds: simply: get a quote online, fill out the information, and enter a payment method. Print or e-file the bond from anywhere.
Estate Planning Attorney?
Colonial Surety Company makes it quick and easy to obtain fiduciary bonds of all kinds. A user-friendly online service allows you to quote and obtain a bond that is instantly available to download or e-file with the probate court.
Probate attorneys can help clients secure court and fiduciary bonds with a few clicks on The Partnership Account® for Attorneys. Just select the bond needed, send it to your client for payment, and then download, e-file or print the bond.
Our fiduciary bonds include: administrator, estate, executor, guardian, personal representative, probate, surrogate, trustee, conservator and the list goes on. Court bonds include: appeal, supersedeas, injunction, replevin, receiver and more.
Speedy, easy fiduciary and court bonds are right here:
Colonial Surety is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company, U.S. Treasury listed, and licensed for business everywhere in the USA. Our customers have awarded us a 4.8 Trustpilot score.Whenever and wherever you need a bond, trust Colonial: www.colonialsurety.com