Should a bank be the executor of my will?


Q. What are the advantages, disadvantages and financial implications of appointing the bank as an executor of my will instead of my child or relative?
— Planning

A. You can name anyone you want to be the executor of your will. The question is who will do the best job.

There are several advantages to naming a bank as an executor.

Banks are in the business of managing money and they are experienced in administering estates, said Shirley Whitenack, an estate planning attorney with Schenck, Price, Smith & King in Florham Park.

This means they may be able to settle the estate more expeditiously than a family member, she said.

“They have policies in place to ensure that the assets are protected from mismanagement and theft,” she said. “They are impartial parties who cannot be influenced by beneficiaries.”

However, banks charge fees for serving as executors, whereas family members or friends serving as executors may waive their fees or charge less, Whitenack said.

Keep in mind that many banks will not serve as executor unless the estate is substantial enough to meet the minimum fees charged by the bank to serve as executor, she said.

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This story was originally published on Nov. 5, 2019. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.