Do I Really Need A Corporate Executor?
Do I Really Need A Corporate Executor?
By: Wilmington Trust

You have put it off long enough and finally made the decision to sit down with your attorney and establish a Will. You have probably given a lot of thought as to who will get what and how to best provide for your survivors. One of the questions you will be asked is, "who do you want to serve as the executor of your estate?" Off of the top of your head, you may say, "my spouse, or maybe my oldest child. They're both intelligent, well-educated, and have a grasp of my finances." As noble as it is to have such confidence in those close to you, selecting individuals to manage your estate could possibly do your loved ones more harm than good.

The duties of your executor will vary, depending upon the jurisdiction in which you reside and the complexity of your estate. These duties may include, but are not limited to:

These duties could very easily become a full-time job for the individual you select to be your executor. Now consider the following thoughts:

Also note that your executor will have legal obligations. For example, a mistake often made by executors is disbursing money to beneficiaries too soon. The possible result is that there will not be enough funds to pay taxes. The IRS may hold the executor personally responsible for tax liabilities if the executor failed to exercise due care in determining if such obligations existed before distribution of the estate's assets.

Are these the types of responsibilities you want to leave to a family member or friend? If the answer is "No," you may want to consider naming him/her in an advisory capacity and using a corporate executor instead.

A corporate executor can provide a level of expertise that will make the estate settlement a smooth process for all concerned. Services of a corporate executor include:

The use of a corporate executor provides additional benefits for your family:

A corporate executor does charge a fee for these services. However, these fees do cover investment advice, accounting services, and administration. And they can be far less than the cost, in terms of time and money, resulting from errors caused by an inexperienced, well-meaning individual.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the sale of any financial product or service or as a determination that any investment strategy is suitable for a specific investor. Investors should seek financial advice regarding the suitability of any investment strategy based on their objectives, financial situations, and particular needs. This article is not designed or intended to provide financial, tax, legal, accounting, or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. If professional advice is needed, the services of a professional advisor should be sought.

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