Estate planning is a critically important task. You want family members to have the assets they need to carry on after your death. If you die unexpectedly, this could place a big burden on survivors. However, if you have a firm plan in place, your loved ones can have some security and peace of mind. Choosing a fiduciary is a good way to help you manage your finances as you develop your estate plan. Before you choose one, make sure you ask some important questions.
Do I Need One?
The first obvious question you can think about is whether a fiduciary is even necessary. You may feel confident in your financial situation as you plan your will and other estate matters. Still, estate planning law can be complicated. You don’t want to pass away and leave a spouse, partner or children in a difficult situation. Unless you are a trained, experienced attorney, banker or financial planner, you probably don’t have a complete grasp on all the financial workings of estate planning.
What Are the Essential Qualifications?
A fiduciary operates in a specialized field. You wouldn’t want to select just anyone for this critical role. Before hiring anyone to handle your finances and advise you on wealth management, take a look at their skills and attributes. You need someone with a proven track record of success in working with clients like you. You want a professional with high morals and ethics—someone you can trust will act with the utmost honesty and integrity. A fiduciary should keep all of your information confidential and place your interests above theirs.
What Are the Costs?
Make sure you know what your financial commitment will be when hiring a fiduciary. Remember, you will be working with a highly trained professional, so you should expect to pay for such a talented person. Get the fiduciary’s fees in writing before deciding whom to hire.
How Involved Do You Want to Be?
When making your estate plan, you can eliminate a lot of stress by surrounding yourself with capable people. An attorney can help you write a will, and a fiduciary can manage your financial affairs. You can work closely with this person throughout this process, or you can leave all the dirty work to him or her. Make sure you and the fiduciary have an understanding of this arrangement.
A fiduciary can be a crucial piece to your estate plan. Use these tips when selecting one that you feel good about.