Ensuring your loved ones know what to expect after your passing by crafting an estate plan can be one of the most loving actions you can take. But what happens when you need support while you’re still living? At Preston Estate Planning, we have built a solution into your trust.

We designate a silent partner that you appoint to help you when you are temporarily incapacitated. So, if you are injured in a serious car accident, undergo surgery, or suffer a stroke, your silent partner would have the authority to step in and manage your financial affairs. This partner would have permission to access your bank accounts, pay your bills, and complete any other tasks you need done but are physically unable to accomplish. If you are married and have a joint trust, your spouse is automatically your silent partner, but for those who are widowed or single, a child, a close friend, or a relative is a great option for a silent partner.

However, there are some caveats to this silent partner designation. First of all, just because someone is your silent partner does not mean that they must be involved in your financial affairs at all times. Instead, a silent partner is in the background, waiting to help you if anything goes awry. Secondly, a silent partner does not have the power to change the terms of your trust. They cannot use your money for their own benefit, and they are only there to fulfill the duties you would do if you were not incapacitated. Think of this partnership like the relationship between a pilot and copilot. A pilot is responsible for all in-flight decisions and leading the crew aboard the aircraft, while the copilot’s role is to complete the tasks designated to them by the pilot. That said, the copilot has one of the most important roles on the aircraft: They take over when the pilot can no longer fly the airplane, completing duties as if they were the pilot.

At Preston Estate Planning, the silent partner in your trust has one of the most important jobs. We do not want your estate plan to fly with a solo pilot. You need someone in your cockpit who can safely land your airplane when you become temporarily incapacitated.

With Preston Estate Planning, you never have to fly alone.