Key People in Estate Planning

Planning an estate takes time and several people to ensure it is done properly. It requires the anticipation of what is to be done with the estate during one’s life and also after one passes away.

Sim Gakhar is here to help assist you with the estate planning process.


Important people in the estate planning process

There are a few important people involved when it comes to estate planning. These people include the executor, guardian, agents, and trustees.

Every estate plan is unique and some require more details than others. Picking the right people that you trust with your affairs is essential in the planning process. You want people that give great advice and are reliable.

Let’s take a look at what each one of these roles entails.



The testator, or will-maker, is the person whose wishes are defined in detail in a testament called a will. The testator is also the person that establishes any trust that will be involved in the settling of the estate.

This person can define how they want their estate planned while they are living and also after their death.



An executor is the person who has the responsibility of carrying out the directions of the will. This is the manager of all of your affairs if you pass away. The executor works closely with attorneys and financial advisors to ensure your estate is distributed accurately.

The executor can choose to carry out the wishes of the will themselves, or hire a professional to do so if they don’t feel qualified. The executor is entitled to compensation for this deed.

In the circumstance you do not leave a will, this person is often called the administrator, who will be someone appointed by the court.

The executor represents the estate and will pay any claims against it. They also prepare an inventory of the property. In addition to this, they are tasked with collecting all the assets related to the estate. Assets can include stocks, bonds, money market investments, real estate, and anything else of significant value.

The executor is the person who will administer all the estate property to the designated beneficiaries. Only assets and property subject to probate are in control of the executor.



In the possibility of parents passing away, a guardian will need to be named to raise the child. If a guardian is not named in the will, a judge will determine who will raise any children, so this is very important to determine.

If you have children this should be addressed every few years or so, as grandparents that may have been designated as guardians may have passed away.


Power of Attorney

This allows an attorney to be responsible for your decisions when you are not physically or mentally capable of doing so yourself.

This person will do the task of paying bills and making deposits also, so you want to make sure this is someone you deem as trustworthy.

This type of document is important should you become incapacitated at some point in time of your life. This way any proceedings can be done outside of dealing with the court.

This agent’s power is only during the lifetime of the person, and terminates after the person has died.

After death, the will’s directions take over as the instructions that should be followed.


Health Care Agent

A health care agent is one that has power of attorney over your medical decisions should you become incapacitated or unable to make any medical decisions yourself.

The health care agent can not override any provisions you have set forth in your living will, but any other decisions they will have authority.

If you are concerned about the future of your health care, a living will would be the place to address these issues before something happens.



In the case of a living trust, you name a trustee to have control over your assets. The trustee will manage the assets and property as it is directed in the trust.

You can choose to have your affairs settled right away after your death, or have your trust go on for decades while assets are distributed in a more lengthy style.

This is usually determined in the case of a beneficiary being a child. You can choose to have the child receive all the money in the trust immediately upon death, or over the course of several years should you choose to do so.



This person is the recipient of any assets you leave behind and is often named in the testator’s will. The beneficiary is often a relative or close friend of the will-maker.

They receive assets from the executor when the will is executed as long as they are an adult at the time. They receive assets from the trustee if the beneficiary is a minor.

This person should be looked at as someone who you can ensure will treat what they are gave with respect and responsibility.


Factors to consider when naming roles

It is a possibility that you will need more than one person to satisfy the responsibility of one role. Ensure the person(s) are trustworthy and reliable in your eyes.

Just in case something happens to someone you have designated to fill one of the roles, determine a backup just in case. It is always good to plan ahead for the unexpected.

Make sure you inform the person who you designate to fill one of these positions. This will help the person prepare and know what to expect in the instance you pass away.



There are several people that go into planning an estate as you can see. Dealing with your estate is an important matter that requires a team of people who you can trust to fulfill your wishes in both life and after death. That is what we are here to assist you with.

Sim Gakhar offers solutions for you and your family to ensure everything is taken care of with your estate. Having both the expected and unexpected prepared for is our specialty.


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