Choosing Your Executor: Three Alternative Options

When you create an estate plan, you choose an executor, also known as a personal representative, to name in your will. This person will be held responsible for several duties after you pass away. He or she will be in charge of taking the plan you made in your will and enacting it in the real world. They will make sure your estate’s debts and taxes get paid, will pass your assets on to your beneficiaries on your behalf (making sure it’s well-maintained until that’s possible), and will represent the interests of your estate in court. 

People almost always choose a close friend or family member as their executor. It needs to be someone you trust, who is capable of handling these potentially stressful duties. But what if you don’t have a friend or relative who fits the bill? Many people find themselves in this situation and feel anxiety – some even let this worry prevent them from coming in for their estate planning at all. We’re here to let you know that this problem is easily solved. There are three alternative options that can be just as good as naming a family member your executive — and sometimes even better!

1. A Private Professional Fiduciary

In California, there are a group of individuals who serve as private professional fiduciaries.  These individuals are tested and licensed by the state and are required to take continuing education classes.  A private professional fiduciary is a good option when you either don’t have a suitable friend or family member to take on the role or your estate or family circumstances are complicated.  These professionals can bring neutrality, financial savvy and experience dealing with difficult family dynamics to your unique situation.  

2. Your Bank

Banks handle estates on a fairly regular basis. They have a series of checks and balances in place to ensure that any property the hold on your behalf will be managed properly. If you name a bank your executor, you won’t have to worry about outliving your representative because the bank is an entity that will exist ongoingly as it is made up of many people.

3. A Trust Company

Administering estates is a part of a trust company’s business! They have the experience and know-how to handle any complicated issues that could arise. They also, like banks, have the added benefit that you don’t have to worry about outliving them. 

How Do I Choose?

Estate planning attorneys are experienced in finding the best solutions for your individual needs. If you’ve found yourself in this situation, the Solan Park & Robello team is eager to help you decide which alternative is right for you. If you have questions about estate planning and choosing an executor, or if you’re ready to partner with us to create a plan, we invite you to contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Solan, Park & Robello

Solan, Park & Robello is a full-service probate and estate planning firm offering experienced counsel in a wide range of estate planning matters—from preparation to administration to litigation.

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