Trust Companies As Executors

...that depends...Some people turn to Trust companies as Executors. After all, who else wants to do it?

Are they capable? Most certainly.

Are they willing…maybe… maybe not. What you will find is that most trust companies have an entry-level requirement. Generally, the Estate must have a probate value of a million dollars (sometimes they’ll consider lesser valued Estates of approximately 4-5 hundred thousand if that is their mandate or if the work isn’t too complicated).

Once committed, will a trust company stay committed?

If they have a entry floor of $750,000 and your Estate value falls to $650,000 for example they may just send you off to employ the alternatives. I have personally known of a trust company withdrawing after a death because they were faced with complexities they didn’t want to deal with. That can be quite legitimate but it can complicate the settling of the Estate.

What about family rivalries?

This problem should be minimized.

What about abuse?

One can never rule out the potential for abuse. The Administrator that carries out the work in these situations very often has no first hand knowledge of your circumstances and may be working out of a distant office so there is little likelihood that they could help or be aware of these kinds of issues.

What about the personal touch?

With friends or family in charge you may have a greater sense of there being a personal touch. While this may be good because ‘they’ know which teacup and saucer goes to Jill and which one goes to Jane; that may work the other way as well.

With a Trust company it will be their experts that do the work. The Lawyer or Accountant or Financial Adviser or other Trusted Professional that you have worked with over the years will generally be out of the picture.

The fees involved generally are moved to the central office of the Trust company so the community that was part of your life is not generally part of your death.

What about my privacy?

An Estate that goes to probate becomes a matter of public record.

Who will actually look after my Estate?

You may have an established relationship with a given Trust officer. There is no guarantee that person will actually be the person who helps settle your affairs.

Remember: These represent only a few of the considerations. There
may be lots more that you’ll think of. Make notes as you think of questions or issues.  You’ll want to review everything with your consultants.

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