When your friend is asking for help, do you have to say “yes?”
Being asked to perform an important part of an estate administration is an odd mixture of honor and burden. The subject alone feels weighty, and it is an honor to be trusted with such responsibilities. These are not small or short-term tasks, however, and before blindly accepting, you should think hard about whether you can perform as needed. So, what factors should be considered?
- What is the role?
- What skills are required?
- If the need is immediate, is there room in my life to accommodate the request?
If you have only a vague acquaintance with your own financial picture, or are unable to keep organized records, a financial or administrative role such as a trustee or executor is probably not a good match, no matter how much you might want to help. Likewise, you may love a niece or nephew, or your best friend’s children, but not be the best choice to raise them.
Estate planning is full of emotional difficult choices for the person making the plan. They want to make the choices that are in their own and their children’s best interests. If you cannot be that best choice for them, thank them for their trust, but ask them to choose another. Disappointment and a hurt feeling are quickly forgotten compared to the disaster or resentment that can grow from a bad appointment.
If I can help you or your clients, you can reach me at 816-550-0644 or Kirsten@SchroederLarsenLaw.com.