April 01, 2022
How To Properly Approach Trust Administration?
There is a certain amount of responsibility that goes along with trust administration here in Michigan. If you have recently found yourself appointed as a trustee of someone else’s estate, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities.
Estate Attorney and Advisor Chris Berry of Castle Wealth Group answers questions on retirement and estate planning every Wednesday at 1pm. Register via this link or give our office a call at 844-885-4200.
Castle Wealth Group and Christopher Berry help families with estate planning, elder law, retirement planning, and tax planning from their offices in Brighton, Ann Arbor, Livonia, Bloomfield Hills, and Novi.
Castle Wealth Group helps families with their legal, financial, and tax planning for their retirement and legacy.
With the use of legal structures like revocable living trusts, Castle Trusts (asset protection trusts), Chris Berry and Castle Wealth Group can help your family plan, protect, and preserve what is important through their Retirement and Legacy Blueprint Process.
In other cases, though, it may make more sense to secure your valuables in a safe deposit box at the bank.
The types of items you may want to keep in a safe deposit box can vary, but here are some common ones:
• Birth certificates
• Marriage certificates
• Social Security card
• A copy of your will
• Copies of degrees and professional licenses
• Copies of divorce or separation papers
• Military records
• Deeds, titles, and insurance for real estate
• Deeds, title, and insurance for vehicles
• Valuable assets you don’t need to access to such as jewelry, coins, guns, etc.
• Stock certificates and bonds; and
• Business documents
Now for obvious reasons, if you choose to use a safe deposit box, you’ll want to take steps to ensure access is extremely limited.
For example, you may set things up so that anyone you authorize to access your box must show proper ID and a signature card when accompanying you to the bank.
You can also work with your estate planning attorney to name someone in your trust who can only access your safe deposit box in the event of your death or incapacity.
If you choose the latter option, it’s a good idea to talk to your attorney about what valuables or important documents will be stored there.
As you can imagine, there are some documents that will need to be accessed immediately if you should become incapacitated or deceased such as medical directives or documents relating to guardians named for your minor children.
Because it can take some time to obtain these things from a safe deposit box, an alternate plan needs to be in place.
Again, your attorney will be able to offer insights into how best to make these documents accessible at the right times and to the appropriate people.