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In Signing Estate Planning Documents, Do the Individuals That I Name Also Have to Sign the Document?

You met with an attorney to discuss creating an estate plan. The attorney drafted your estate planning documents and now those documents are ready for your signature. Since they are your documents, you have to return to the attorney's office to sign them. However, you are wondering if the people you named in your documents also need to go to the attorney's office to sign the documents since he or she is listed in them. The answer is "it depends."



Revocable Living Trust. If you are executing a Revocable Living Trust, the Trustor, the person creating the Trust, and as the Trustee, the person managing the Trust, will need to sign the document.  If you are acting both as the Trustor and Trustee, then only you would need to sign.  However, if you named another person (or institution) as an initial sole or Co-Trustee, that person or representative of the institution will also need to sign as Trustee or Co-Trustee. Successor Trustees do not need to sign the document.


Last Will and Testament. If you are executing a Will, you will need to sign the document. Your named Personal Representative, the person you chose to administer your estate after you pass away, does not need to sign the Will.


Powers of Attorney for Financial and Health Care. If you are executing Powers of Attorney, you will need to sign the documents. In Washington, your named Agent, the person you chose to act on your behalf in the event you become incapacitated, does not need to sign the Powers of Attorney. 


Irrevocable Trust. Like a Revocable Living Trust, the Trustor, the person creating the Trust, needs to sign the document. Additionally, the person or organization you designate as Trustee will also need to sign the document. Successor Trustees do not need to sign the document.



If you have any further questions about the process of executing estate planning documents, please give Rehberg Law Group a call at 206.246.8772.

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