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Pick the Right Executors and Trustees

Aug. 3, 2014

One of the most important things you can do with your estate plan is pick the right person to carry out your wishes.

Even if you have the most detailed, elegant, and absolutely perfect estate plan, if you pick the wrong executor, there can be years and years of frustration and difficulty ahead for your loved ones.

Take, for example, the popular case of the Walt Disney estate. Walt Disney died in 1966, and his youngest daughter in 1993. He left most of his estate in trusts which, for everyone but his youngest daughter’s heirs, have been fine.

The trusts were set up so that the grandchildren would receive certain chunks of their inheritance as they aged, and reached certain predetermined thresholds. The problems for Walt’s youngest daughter’s children, though, are the trustees who are exercising their rights to deny payment at seemingly every opportunity.

The grandchildren who are being denied their inheritance are claiming that the trustees are making up claims of mental incompetence in order to continue receiving their $1 million salaries, and that this is a form of retaliation for other grandchildren taking their inheritances and putting them in other financial firms.

Regardless of the truth of the matter, the lesson to be learned is valid: Be extremely careful with who you entrust to enact your will.

If you ever have any concerns about your will or trusts, get in touch with an experienced estate planning attorney today. They will be able to help guide you through the entire process.