pdf print

Working with Co-Trustees

Trustees have a large number of duties and responsibilities that carry legal and other consequences if breached. When there are two or more people acting as trustee at the same time there can be complications. Each co-trustee is bound by the duties of participation and prevention. In other words, they must divide up the work between themselves but each are still accountable for the actions of the other to redress a breach of the trust.

Details

Why You Should Have an Advance Health Care Directive

Many parts of life planning require a discussion of uncomfortable topics. Drafting your advance health care directive is no exception. No one likes to talk about “end of life” preferences. However, having an advance health care directive can ensure that your preferences are carried out when you are unable to make your own health care decisions. An Advance Health Care Directive is a legal document outlining your health care choices.

Details

When Should a Conservatorship Be Established?

In California, a conservatorship is a legal relationship established by an elder law attorney that appoints one person (the conservator) responsible for the needs of another (the conservatee). The conservator can be given authority over the conservatee’s physical needs or just their estate when it is found that the conservatee is unable to do so. The attorney files a petition with the court, which closely monitors the actions of the conservator.

Details

Use a Visitors Log to Keep Track of Elders’ Guest

I developed the idea of a communications notebook when I was caring for my grandmother which became a valuable tool that helped me stay on top of her day-to-day care while ensuring she maintained a high quality of life. Visitors are a very important aspect of ensuring the elder in your care has enough social stimulation, but there may also be times when you need to curtail a situation where there is too much activity.

Details

Trustee’s Duty to Deal Impartially with Beneficiaries

The duty of loyalty includes the duty to deal impartially with all beneficiaries. This can be especially challenging if there are many beneficiaries each with different wants and needs. It is further complicated when the trustee is also a beneficiary. Above all, the terms of the trust dictate how the trustee must proceed with regard to the beneficiaries. When the trust documents are not explicit the trustee must use their best judgment to perform his job.

Details

Trustee Duties: Enforcing Claims and Defending Actions

This is the third article in a series detailing the duties of a trustee. We have explored the duty of a trustee to comply with the terms of the trust instruments as well as the duties to control trust property and make it productive. This time I will address the duty to enforce claims the trust has against others and to defend actions against the trust. Before taking on the responsibility of acting as a trustee it is crucially important that you fully understand all the legal duties that come with the job.

Details