Can I Pay My Son Anything for Acting as my Executor and Trustee of my Estate After I Die?

I was speaking with a woman recently about setting up her estate legal affairs to provide for her four children after she passed away. After our initial discussion, this woman wanted to put a revocable living trust in place because she wanted things to be as simple as possible after she was gone for her four children. Specifically, she wanted to avoid probate, wanted the government out of her private affairs, and didn’t want her family to incur any unnecessary delays, costs, expenses, and deal with any lawyers or judges after she was gone.

However, specifically, she had questions about naming her oldest son as the one that would be in charge of settling everything after she was gone. I explained to this woman that when you have a trust, the estate settlement process is extremely simple. All of the assets pass very quickly and easily to the surviving family members named in the trust document, and the entire estate is settled within days as opposed to months or even years. Although, even with this information, this woman said she would feel more comfortable if she could compensate her older son for this extra work that he would have to do after she’s gone.

I explained that many of our clients do feel the same way and it is not unusual for the surviving family to compensate, what we call the successor trustee, for the extra work of settling the estate. I explained that she could leave a larger percentage of her assets to this person, or, as some of our clients’ do, state that x% of the assets will go the successor trustee for settling the estate after her death. This client of ours said she would feel much more comfortable if she arranged her legal affairs in this way and provided a little bit more to her eldest son who would be acting as the successor trustee after her death.

If you have questions about estate planning in Tennessee, establishing a revocable living trust or an irrevocable Medicaid trust, avoiding nursing home poverty and Medicaid planning, or any other estate planning topics, then I encourage you to attend one of our free live educational events scheduled this month. At these events, you will hear a lot of real life stories about families that paid thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses, families that were able to avoid unnecessary expenses, and families that were able to protect their assets from unnecessary nursing home costs and expenses.

I look forward to speaking with you at one of our upcoming live educational events!

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