Planning your estate can sometimes involve a lot of serious thought when it comes to naming an executor. It is important to be aware of the level of responsibility you are putting on someone by naming them your executor. In some cases, people feel comfortable leaving their spouse, one of their adult children, or even a close friend and confidant as their executor. While this can save some time and expense, it may not always be the best course of action, particularly for larger estates, or estates that may fall into contention in the future. To avoid these complications, and to keep from placing too much of a burden on friends or loved ones, you may want to consider enlisting the help of a trust company as your executor.
Complex assets which include a wide range of properties and sophisticated investments are likely far beyond the capabilities of an average person to administrate. There are so many details which need to be taken into account, and the cost of neglecting even one aspect of an estate claim can be devastating. Typically, a corporate executor will administer all aspects of a client’s estate for a 5% fee taken from the total amount of assets. In cases where you would prefer to keep family involved in the process, you can appoint a corporate trustee as a co-executor with a family member. In these cases, many of the final decisions about the allocation of assets can still be made by the family member, while other important details are handled by the corporate executor.
A corporate executor can do a lot to help mitigate any issues that may arise from the decisions made by the estate holder. As family dynamics have changed over the years to account for second marriages and blended families, the need for a more nuanced approach to asset management of an estate becomes higher. In cases where funds are distributed differently among children, it may be more desirable to have any ill will concerning the estate be directed towards a third party rather than kept in the family for years to come. This of course is an extreme example, but due to the complexities surrounding large, diverse estates, it is certainly worth considering. This will also prevent future law suits occurring within the family, as beneficiaries can sue a corporate trustee they believe to be negligent, rather than one another.
Ultimately, the decision to involve a trust company in the affairs of your estate is highly personal. You really have to weigh the cost vs benefit, and how your family dynamics will shape your decision. In many cases, it is completely appropriate to keep the executor a member of the family, particularly with close families or estates that are relatively straightforward. To help you make your final decision, you may want to enlist the help of a legal professional who can assess your estate and take into account your thoughts on how your family will react to certain decisions. To find out more about how the experienced team of legal professionals at Ganapathi Law can help you in your decision making process, be sure to contact our offices today.