Most estate planning attorneys do a good job drafting documents and addressing most estate planning issues. However, there is one area where they consistently fail. The legal documents do not address how to manage the decline of mental capability regarding financial matters, short of becoming completely incompetent. A period of gradual loss of ability can last for years, during which we can make serious financial mistakes. Most trusts do not address this, only stating what to do if we are determined to be incapacitated: we stop being trustee or we resign. This assumes that: a) we know on our own that we need to resign as trustee and we will do so willingly; or b) we will cooperate if someone else tells us it’s time to resign and will not resist if asked to do so. These are not safe assumptions.
Adapted with permission from YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO A SUCCESSFUL, SECURE RETIREMENT by Larry E. Swedroe and Kevin Grogan. Published by Harriman House. © 2019. All rights reserved.