16th Dec 2021

This blog is currently surveying the high profile estate of Dick Robinson, owner and officer of Scholastic publishing, to explore topics that are helpful for almost all estates and estate planning discussions. So far we have hit on topics such as the urgent need to have a plan, considering non-relatives in an estate plan, and disinheriting.

This post will highlight the need to use careful thought in who to put in charge of your estate.

This Particular Estate

News outlets are reporting that Robinson named co-personal representatives or co-executors in his Will: his colleague and romantic interest Iole Lucchese and the general counsel of Scholastic, Andrew Hedden. Its appears careful thought was likely put into this naming.

Why does it appear careful thought went into this? First, because neither of them are relatives. Second, because it appears both of them had experience working alongside Robinson at Scholastic, which was his life’s work and proud possession. Third, because one of them is a professional, indicating there might need to be some special skill or care in the situation. Fourth, because even though Lucchese is the main beneficiary, another person was to work with her.

Whatever anyone thinks of the choices, it appears Robinson used care in naming who would be in charge of his estate.

Why You Should Choose Carefully

In a word: because they will step into your shoes and basically temporarily take over your affairs.

A Trustee or Personal Representative will have tremendous responsibilities. Below is just a partial list for illustration purposes. You may be able to think of specific issues they might have to deal with in your particular set of circumstances.

-They will be in charge of gathering your estate planning documents (Will, Trust, etc.) and other important documents and details;

– They will work with numerous parties on your behalf – from professional such as attorneys and accountants to family members to government entities such as the IRS;

-They will gather, protect, and distribute your property;

-They will deal with your creditors and debt;

-They will handle lawsuits or other claims for or against you;

-They will work on guardianship or family issues;

– They will handle emergency matters you leave behind – from cattle in the field to inventory in the warehouse;

– They will take over handling ongoing contracts or continuing business operations;

-They will follow your instructions, and often make judgment calls about those instructions;

-They will file your final tax return and wrap up other important details;

If our office may be of assistance to you in these areas, do not hesitate to contact us at (580) 686-4360 or at coryhicks@fieldandhicks.com or using any of our contact information in the profile. You can also visit www.fieldandhicks.com for more information.

This blog contains general information and the opinions of the author – not legal advice; you should seek the advice of competent counsel (attorney/lawyer) when considering any legal issues.

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