Tips To Help Your Successor Trustee

Hi there. My name is Bridget Mackay. I am an attorney, and I practice in Petaluma, California, in the area of estate planning, and trust and probate administrations.

Today, I’m going to talk about in my blog the little things that make a big difference to your successor trustee or executor. You have completed your will or your trust, and you feel everything’s in order, and if it’s a trust, all your assets have been transferred into it, and you can move on with the rest of your life.

But another area in which you might want to add to your trust or your will, is a list of your service providers and their contact information. And by service providers, I mean those people that do things for you in your life. That list could make a difference to your successor trustee if you should become incapacitated, because they’ll need to contact all those folks. And you’ll want to include any account numbers attached to these service providers if they have them. You can break them up into categories, I would suggest. So, those that you use around your house like a gardener, a house cleaner, a pet sitter. Who is your internet and cable provider? Who is your energy provider? Who runs your garbage out? Who provides your water? Typically cities. But all of those things, even though you may think your successor, trustee or your executor knows this, it’s important to have a list and phone numbers on how to contact these people. Also, who provides for your telephone and your cell phone?

Another category are your medical providers. I don’t mean necessarily your doctor, or who your medical insurance is, clearly you should leave that information for them, but also other folks that provide services for you like a chiropractor, a dentist, a massage therapist. And then finally your personal care services. When you become incapacitated, you may not be able to tell them where you like to get your hair done; so your hairdresser should know what’s going on. If you have young children, who typically provides for them that you pay to do that. For women, maybe even the people who do your nails or clean your skin. You may not think it’s something you’re going to  be thinking about when you’re incapacitated, but you would be surprised how many of those services are such a nice treat for someone who has something like dementia, or Alzheimer’s. So, if you use these services regularly, let’s say ladies out there, getting your hair done, you do that maybe on a bi-weekly, monthly, every five-week basis, you need to make a note of it in this list that you’re gonna create. And having this list in the same location as your plan, like in a binder or a folder, or a file, will allow your loved ones and your successor trustees to have everything they need to take care of you and your assets.

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