When you begin an estate plan you are trusting and asking a lot of a few people to implement your plan. Often that can be overwhelming trying to choose the person. But it can be even harder if you have limited family or family that is not appropriate for the decisions they would need to make. A few things to help consider your options:
First, consider the role you are asking them to take. Are they handling money? Taking care of the kids? Making medical decisions?
Would they make the same decisions you would make?
Are they mentally and emotionally capable of making those decisions?
Is their age or physical limitations of concern?
If they are only making decisions on one part of your plan, will they work well with the others making decisions for you?
If they are not local, will that cause problems? Would it be difficult to deal with real estate? Are they interacting with the court?
How will they interact with your family or the others involved? Will they communicate adequately? Will they handle problems fairly and diplomatically?
But what if you really don’t have the option of families or friend fulfilling this role? It is possible for an independent party to act for you as at least a trustee. Banks, financial companies, and even accountants may accept this role. Often in an estate plan, professional advice is required, so hiring a professional trustee may make sense. It also puts a neutral third party in the role of the decider and can prevent family disputes and complications. However, professional services of course cost money and may not be practical for all families. As such, it’s very important to discuss options with an estate planning attorney and make the right decision for you.