Naming a Guardian
What does a Guardian do?
Guardians care for a child's personal needs until the child turns 18. A Guardian will make decisions related to the child's education and medical care, and will be responsible to provide for the child's basic needs during his or her childhood. A Guardian may also manage the child's financial assets during his or her childhood.
Factors to consider when naming a Guardian.
Your legacy. First and foremost, you should trust your chosen Guardian to honor your legacy. What are the personal values you're trying to instill in your children? What role does faith play in your parenting? Does your chosen Guardian share those personal and spiritual values?
Ability. Your chosen Guardian should be fit for the role physically, emotionally, and financially. How old is your chosen Guardian, and how old would he or she be when your youngest child is in high school? Is your chosen Guardian in good health? Do you estimate your chosen Guardian would have the energy and time to raise all your children, as well as his or her own children? Does your chosen Guardian have the financial resources and acumen to provide for your children during their youth?
Location. Where does your chosen Guardian live? Would your children need to move away from familiar surroundings or family and friends? Would they need to change schools?
Naming an Executor
What does an Executor do?
An Executor is responsible to carry out the terms of the Will. In Illinois, Executors file the Will with local authorities, send notices to surviving family, gather and manage all estate property and debts, and make distributions to estate beneficiaries When necessary, an Executor also helps navigate the estate through the probate court process.
Factors to consider when naming an Executor.
Availability. Serving as an Executor often requires a significant time and energy investment. Also, while it's possible to serve as an Executor remotely, it's generally easier to complete many of an Executor's responsibilities if the Executor lives in the same or a nearby community.
Wherewithal and Trustworthiness. You should trust your Executor choice to responsibly and ethically manage your estate property and debts.
Your Spouse. Many married clients choose to name their surviving spouse as Executor. Depending on your specific circumstances, your spouse might be a logical choice because he or she might be more familiar with the nature and location of your assets. That said, before naming your spouse as Executor, consider whether your spouse might be unfit for the role, whether because of grief or lack of time or expertise.
Trust Company. While most clients choose a family member or friend to serve as Executor, for others, a trust company proves a better fit. You might consider naming a compensated trust company if you're concerned that managing your estate might be a burden for your family or friends.
Naming a Trustee
What does a Trustee do?
A Trustee manages the trust's assets for the benefit of the trust's beneficiary. A Trustee's specific responsibilities are described in the trust document at issue, but a Trustee will almost always provide general financial management and protection of the trust assets, communicate with the trust beneficiary, and make required and discretionary property distributions as the trust document directs.
Factors to consider when naming a Trustee.
Availability. Serving as an Trustee often requires a significant time and energy investment.
Wherewithal and Trustworthiness. You should trust your Trustee choice to responsibly and ethically manage the trust property and debts.
Trust Company. While most clients choose a family member or friend to serve as Trustee, for others, a trust company proves a better fit. You might consider naming a compensated trust company if you're concerned that managing your trust might be a burden for your family or friends.