Common Estate Planning Mistake #5: Failing to consider the ages of people you name as fiduciaries

Naming fiduciaries is an important part of our estate planning efforts. After all, when the time comes, the people we choose are entrusted with various aspects of our estate. While who we choose now may make perfect sense, considering their age is often an oversight and may prove them to be an ineffective choice down the road.

In this Elder Law and Estate Planning Minute, Wes Coulson, St. Louis area attorney, discusses another common estate planning mistake and the problems that may arise when we fail to consider the ages of the people we name as fiduciaries.

Common Estate Planning Mistake #5: Failing to consider the ages of people you name as fiduciaries


Hi, I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Estate Planning Minute. This is another in our series on Common Estate Planning Mistakes. And this time I want to talk about failing to consider the ages of the people that you name as fiduciaries. Fiduciaries being things like trustees of a trust, executor or personal representative under a will, people with power of attorney.

I will have people who will name people, all of whom are the same age as them or older, and I’ve said, “Well, you know, you’re only 67 now, and by the time this form is needed you might be 85. How old are those people going to be?”

“Well, they’d be 88 or 90.”

“Do you really want them in charge of your affairs when they are 88 or 90 years old?”

One of the big ways that this plays out is when people have left money in trust for younger people, like children or, particularly, grandchildren. If you want to leave money to grandchildren, but you don’t want them to be in charge of it until they are age 25, you better make sure that the trustee who is going to be in charge of it is still going to be around at an age when they can do it up until the point that your grandchildren have reached age 25. So, again, something to think about. Thanks.

For more about Fiduciaries and Estate Planning, visit these articles:

Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.