There are several options that an individual or married couple residing in California may choose when deciding who to appoint in the will as a personal representative of the after-death estate. The first thing that people generally try to do is to appoint a trusted friend or family member to manage the estate and make the ultimate distributions to the heirs. In the case of a husband and wife with mutual wills, they will generally appoint each other as personal representatives, with an alternative who will act if both spouses die within a short time of each other.
The choosing of a family member or trusted friend may not work for several reasons, including death of the person or a personal squabble with the potential choice. There may also be a fear of appointing a relative who is known to have difficulties with his own financial affairs. Where the choice of a family member or other individual is not possible or feasible, there are other options that may be chosen.
When the will maker meets with his estate planning attorney, those options can be discussed. It is a significant value to add the experience of the attorney to one’s benefit in making this all-important choice. One of the first alternatives that people think about is a bank trust department.
However, these are generally only willing to act in large estates. In addition, the fees that they charge can be much higher than what a family member would be able to charge. Another option may be a professional fiduciary or fiduciary services company.
Because they handle such matters on a regular basis, they will generally be highly experienced and knowledgeable in doing the efficient actions necessary to protect the maker’s assets. Such services may be able to offer competitive rates that will save the clients’ money over California banks. A big benefit of these companies is that they don’t have to hire outside professional to assist in the project, as they generally will be proficient enough to take the smartest moves in assuring a protection of assets for the heirs.
Source: myprimetimenews.com, “Choosing a Trustee or Personal Representative at Your Death“, Carol Johnson, April 30, 2017