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Things to consider when drafting your Will

Here are some things to consider when drafting your Will:

Who should be your Personal Representative or Executor?

  • Personal Representative or Executor – responsible for filing Will with court, inventory of assets and liabilities and paying creditors. This is a temporary position.

Because attorneys acting as Personal Representatives charge hefty fees, we recommend a spouse, family member or trusted friend be named for this role. They can always engage attorneys and other professionals as needed—which is much less expensive.


Caution!  Attorneys offering to prepare estate planning documents on the cheap often name themselves as Personal Representatives, collecting their fees on the back end.

Trusts are often created through a Will in order to:

  1. Reduce estate taxes for high net worth individuals
  2. Control the timing of asset distribution—primarily used with minor children, special needs children of any age or young adults who lack the skills to manage an inheritance wisely
  3. Ensure children from a previous relationship are not disinherited
  4. Ensure your survivors honor your wishes


NOTE: Online programs generally aren’t good at creating Trusts though Wills. Consider hiring an attorney to draft these documents.

When you create a Trust you must name a Trustee and a successor Trustee.

  • Trustees – Serve during duration of Trust. Manage Trust assets and follow Trust terms for distributions.

This one is tricky. Managing Trusts is a lot of responsibility, time consuming and requires expertise that many lack. There is always danger the Trust can be mismanaged or stolen from. Family members and trust beneficiaries may disagree with even the best-intentioned trustee, resulting in family discord and a lawsuit… or they may bully the trustee into violating provisions of the Trust. We recommend you hire a professional such as an attorney or accountant to act as trustee. Professionals have expertise in managing Trusts, are not likely to be bullied and have liability insurance—beneficiaries can sue and be compensated if something goes wrong.

A compromise may be to appoint a family member as co-trustee.


CAUTION!  Many hire banks as trustees. This may not be ideal because they tend to be rigid in administering the Trust, there is a lot of turnover in terms of who you deal with and you may feel like a small fish in a big pond.


Coordinate your will with that of your partner to ensure each of your wishes are fulfilled.



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