CHAPTER 6 You Can Select Your Children as Your After-Death Agent, but Will They Carry Out Your Living Trust’s Inheritance Instructions? Or, “That Was Our Parents’ Wish, but It Ain’t Our Wish”

It’s a wonder anyone would ever voluntarily consent to act as a lifetime agent of a Living Trust. As you see from Chapter 5, that role can become a high-pressure gig. Imagine that you are in charge of the financial affairs of another who is completely dependent on you for his existence. He is counting on you and relying on you to meet his daily needs. And on top of that, this person can sue you if he even merely perceives you are not doing your job properly.

In comparison, the role of your successor trustee as after-death agent is a relative piece of cake. The heavy lifting of managing and controlling the Living Trust assets for your benefit is gone. After your death, the chief purpose of the after-death agent is to distribute your Living Trust assets to the beneficiaries you have named in your Living Trust.

Well, perhaps the allusion to cake is a bit misleading. In carrying out the function of the after-death transfer of your Living Trust assets, the after-death agent must make many determinations that directly impact the distribution process, such as when the distribution will be made, which assets shall comprise each beneficiary’s share, which assets will be sold to pay the estate tax, which attorney to use, which accountant to use, which appraiser to use, whether fees will be charged ...

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