Just in time for summer – a new series on Wills and Estate Planning!  This time out, I will provide my “top ten list” of things that every person should keep in mind when considering his or her estate planning.  Today, we begin with the top 2: 1. Choose your Estate Trustee(s) carefully.  Your spouse, brother, best friend or favorite uncle is not the right choice if you are basing the decision on that person’s expectations or because he or she might be offended if not chosen.  The only correct approach is a sober analysis of who is best capable of managing the complex responsibilities of estate administration. 2.  Consider using multiple Wills to reduce probate tax.  If you have substantial assets that can be administered without “probate” (the process of obtaining a court certificate validating your Will), such as vehicles, shares in private corporations and other valuable personal property, multiple Wills can be used to divide your estate between those assets that require probate and those that do not.  By doing this, you avoid paying probate tax on those assets that are included in the Will that does not require probate. Next time:  #3 (Consider whether you need a Will in any other jurisdiction) and #4 (There are more important things to worry about than the dreaded probate tax).

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