Temporary Property Custodian

One crucial aspect often overlooked is the appointment of a Temporary Property Custodian,

It is a pivotal role that plays a vital part in safeguarding and managing assets until the will’s final distribution is executed. 

In this blog, we delve into the significance of a Temporary Property Custodian within the legal framework of wills.

Understanding The Temporary Property Custodian

As a will stipulates, a Temporary Property Custodian is an individual or entity entrusted with managing the testator’s assets.

This role ensures the smooth transition of assets from the decedent to the intended beneficiaries.

It minimizes the risk of mismanagement, disputes, or asset depreciation during the interim period.

Legal Authority And Responsibilities:

The authority and responsibilities of a Temporary Property Custodian are explicitly outlined in the testator’s will.

These responsibilities typically encompass:

Asset Inventory: 

The custodian is tasked with inventorying all assets mentioned in the will.

It ensures a comprehensive record of the estate.

Asset Protection: 

The custodian must safeguard assets from theft and damage.

It also needs protection from unauthorized access during the interim period.

Financial Management: 

Managing the estate’s finances is a core duty of the custodian.

These include paying bills, taxes, and any other obligations,

Asset Valuation: 

The custodian may need to obtain professional appraisals.

This is to determine the fair market value of assets.

It can be crucial for tax purposes and equitable distribution.

Accounting: 

The custodian must provide regular financial statements to the estate’s beneficiaries.

It should also be provided to the court if required.

Appointment And Selection:

A Temporary Property Custodian is typically appointed by the testator within the will document itself.

The selection process should be undertaken with utmost care.

It considers the individual’s or entity’s financial acumen, trustworthiness, and ability to fulfill the responsibilities outlined in the will.

Testators often choose a family member, close friend, attorney, or a trusted financial institution as the custodian.

Temporary Property Custodian – Example 1

Scenario:

John Smith, a successful businessman, wants to create a will to ensure his assets are properly managed during his unexpected absence.

He has two children, Emily and Michael, and he wants to appoint a Temporary Property Custodian to take care of his estate until his children reach the age of 25. John’s close friend, Sarah Johnson, has agreed to take on this responsibility.

Will Provision:

“I, John Smith, being of sound mind and body, hereby appoint Sarah Johnson as the Temporary Property Custodian of my estate, assets, and properties until my children, Emily Smith and Michael Smith, reach age 25. During this period, Sarah Johnson shall have the authority to manage, preserve, and distribute my assets for the benefit of my children as she deems necessary and in their best interests. Upon Emily and Michael reaching the age of 25, Sarah Johnson’s role as Temporary Property Custodian shall terminate, and my children shall gain full control of their inheritance.”

Temporary Property Custodian – Example 2

Scenario:

Lisa Anderson is a single mother with a teenage daughter, Emma.

She’s concerned about what might happen to her assets if something were to happen to her.

Lisa has a close friend, David Brown, whom she trusts implicitly.

She decides to include a Temporary Property Custodian provision in her will to ensure David can look after Emma’s inheritance until she turns 21.

Will Provision:

“I, Lisa Anderson, being of sound mind and body, appoint David Brown as the Temporary Property Custodian of my estate, including all financial assets, real estate, and personal belongings, in trust for my daughter, Emma Anderson. This appointment shall take effect upon my passing, and David Brown shall have the authority to manage, invest, and use my estate’s income and principal for Emma’s benefit until she reaches the age of 21. David Brown shall exercise his duties as Temporary Property Custodian with the utmost care and prudence, always acting in Emma’s best interests. Upon Emma reaching age 21, David Brown’s role as Temporary Property Custodian shall terminate, and Emma shall gain full control of her inheritance.”

In both examples, the Temporary Property Custodian is appointed in the will.

This is to safeguard and manage the assets of the testator’s beneficiaries.

This will be until they reach a specified age or event.

The named custodians (Sarah Johnson and David Brown) manage the assets.

This will be until they are old enough to manage the inheritance on their own