Important Definitions

  • Executor: The Executor is the person responsible for probating your Will and then distributing the property in the manner directed in your Will. Your Executor’s job is temporary, typically lasting three to six months.
  • Trustee: The Trustee’s job is to manage money for another person(s), called the “beneficiary.” It is important that the Trustee be very honest and capable of making good decisions.
  • Guardians: Effectively, Guardians act as the “parents” of the children in the event that neither you nor your spouse are alive to raise them. They decide where the children go to school, what clothes they wear, what brand of toothpaste they use, etc.
  • Statutory Durable Power of Attorney: A Statutory Durable Power of Attorney is a very potent document. It allows the person you name (called the “Agent”) to do anything financially, which you could do yourself. For example, your Agent could buy or sell real estate, open and close bank accounts, buy or sell investments, etc. Your Agent should be someone who is very trustworthy and is capable of making good decisions. Typically couples name their spouse first, but you can name anyone in any order.
  • Durable Health Care Power of Attorney: Who would you want to make health care decisions for you in the event you could not make your own decisions (e.g. if you were comatose? Typically couples name their spouse first, but you can name anyone in any
    order.
  • Directive to Physicians: A Directive to Physician is sometimes erroneously called a “Living Will.” This document simply states that if you are hopelessly and incurably ill, you do not wish to be kept alive on life support systems.
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