Determining who will be responsible for handling your plans after you pass away is just as important for deciding who will receive assets in your estate. This person should be responsible, trustworthy, understand your wishes and the importance of adherence to laws and possess attention to detail.
This is important because you rely on this individual to distribute your remaining estate assets to your loved ones according to your wishes after debts have been paid. If you’re using a living trust with your Michigan estate planning, this appointed person is known as your successor trustee. If you are referring to your last will and testament in Michigan, however, this person is known as your personal representative.
They play similar roles but have one key difference. A last will and testament must go through the probate process, meaning that your personal representative must navigate probate as long as necessary to handle payments to creditors and managing other assets before they can be distributed to your loved ones. If your will gets contested, this can add months or even years in terms of a delay. A successor trustee for a living trust, however, is usually able to distribute your assets to your family in a private setting often within a matter of days.
Both the personal representative and the successor trustee in Michigan file necessary forms, arrange for repayment of debt, administer assets and property, distribute your assets to your loved ones and ensure that donations are given to the right recipients. For more information on how this process works and how best to protect your interests, contact an experienced and qualified estate planning lawyer.