Consider asking your Attorney to name a Trust Protector in your estate planning documents, if public benefits issues are foreseeable, or if not a Professional Fiduciary. What oversight is needed for your estate plan administration to work properly?
- Does your potential Trustee know the resources and public benefit issues?
- Are the various rules being complied with?
- Is there a Conflict Of Interest?
- What issue(s) may need to be discussed?
- What are the discussion options?
- Should a Trust Protector have the authority to terminate the Trustee’s administration so that the Successor Trustee can serve instead?
Tell your Attorney what kind of results you do want ~ and do not want ~ so your estate plan can include some examples as guidance of your care plan preferences, from “ideal” to “possible” to “acceptable”. You already know your own family and friends, so look closely at what could go wrong: and then tell your drafting Attorney.
Consider ways to resolve differences: going to COURT? or MEDIATION? How have the parties resolved their past differences? Do they need a third-party NEUTRAL to Decide or Facilitate? Going to Court with Lawyers so that a Judge can determine (Right, Wrong, Compliance?) can be costly. Instead in the Mediation process, the parties decide with the support of a Facilitator (often a retired Judge) and at much less expense. Often the neutral Mediator is able to use 1 of 3 processes to support the parties’ decision-journey to a mutually satisfactory settlement:
- The “facilitative” Process supports the Mediator as a Facilitator to oversee communications between the parties. The neutral Mediator is in charge of the process, so each party is able to communicate with the neutral and nonjudgmental mediator, who communicates with the other parties, also in a safe and neutral manner. The Mediator conveys the content.
- The “evaluative” Process can assist the parties in assessing their issues more accurately. The neutral Mediator can evaluate a legal issue and provide a confidential opinion of the good points and not-so-good points of a party’s position, to the party and party’s counsel. Then the parties can assess the likelihood of judicial success at trial (and at what co$t) by comparing the litigation fee$ and co$t$ vis-a- vis the possible $ettlement option$, ~ and even beyond the legal costs, to include non-monetary remedies, such as an apology or other communication.
- The “transformative” Process results in a family’s dynamics becoming improved, sometimes radically, because of an increased understanding of the different viewpoints of the parties. With new thoughts and insights, a new understanding can assuage the misunderstanding of an old hurt, so that the old hurt can be released, with the prior relationship transformed into a new, positive dynamic.