Bank As Executor Of Will?

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bluebutterfly50
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Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:00 pm

I saw that this issue has been somewhat discussed in another thread, but wanted to start a new post on it, detailing my particular issues and questions regarding this. I have several questions about naming my bank as the Executor of my Will/estate. First, some background info. I have over 100K in various accounts (brokerage, checking, etc.) at Chase. I called my local branch and asked to speak to someone in their "estate" department. Whoever answered the phone at the branch said they did not have an estate dept. at that branch, but that they thought the minimum for a bank to agree to be Executor was (and I quote), "10 million dollars". My mind was boggled by this remark and I said I couldn't believe that to be true, and asked to speak to someone knowledgeable. They advised me to contact my broker who handles my managed portfolio.

I haven't done this yet, because I want to find out a bit more about this before getting into a conversation with the broker. Frankly, I don't know why they were unable to cononect me to someone in their Estate/Trust Dept., because I somehow wonder if if its the broker's job to advise me on estate matters.

Here's some more background info to shed light on why I want the bank to be my Executor. I have drawn up and had notarized a Will, which I prepared using a Willmaker software program. I am single (no spouse), no kids, and only one sibling who I have named as the Executor, but because of potential ill health, I have concerns that this sibling will be able to carry out the role if I die first. There is no one else I would consider in that position or in a back-up successor position as Executor. (no friends, and no other family members I would even remotely consider for various personal reasons).

Therefore, I realize that it is essential to have a back-up successor Executor, which I have been advised is extremely important to have on the paperwork. I have done some preliminary research, and have rejected other options such as having an attorney be the Executor (law offices disappear, attorneys die, etc. etc.) A corporate such as a bank as Executor seems to me the best option for my personal scenario.

My parents who both died several years ago had a Trust. That worked well for them, because I was the sole beneficiary of their Trust and everything passed smoothly to me, with no need for probate. However, there were some down sides to a Trust, including having to file taxes on it separately and other complexities which I don't wish to bother with and see no need for in my situation, which is actually not all that complicated financially. I have the usual assets (home, car, some personal possessions which I am trying to downsize).

I want the bulk of my estate to go to a charity, which I have stipulated in my existing Will. I've stipulated my various burial/funeral wishes in my Will. One bequest is set up at the bank as POD, so it will pass automatically outside of probate. I have no problem with my Will being probated and have researched the various fees applicable to my particular state that an Executor would receive.. I think it's 2% for the first 100K in the estate, and then 4% for each 100K thereafter or something of that sort. That's fine with me. I have no desire to "avoid probate". In fact, I WANT court oversight of my estate when I'm no longer there to oversee what's left.

People hear horror stories about estates being "bled dry" by probate costs, but I don't have any particular fear of that happening. I think such disasters are more likely when untrustworthy or incapable family members handle things and don't do an efficent job or a good job as per what I want done.

So now that you know a little of the background on this, getting back to my main question: can my bank be the Executor of my Will? (or in this case, they would be shown at this time as a successor Executor). Does anyone know specifically how large an estate Chase Bank requires to agree to be an Executor? I'm troubled by the initial response of "10 million dollars", as this seems to imply that it needs to be a huge estate before they will agree to be shown on the paperwork.

If they do agree, will they ask me to give them a copy of my Will? I have a safe deposit box that I intend to put my Will and other important documents, but do they require it in some other location at the bank if they agree to this? I haven't been able to find this info anywhere. I'm not sure I would even want my bank having a copy of my Will at this point in time (other than in my own safe deposit box). Has anyone actually done this and if so, what is required? What type of wording is needed on the Will? Would simply listing "Chase Bank" with a main corporate address suffice?

I'm not sure why I have been advised to discuss this with my broker. Isn't there some other entity at the bank that I can sit down with, locally in my own city, and discuss this with? My broker is located out of state (because that's where I initially set up the investment account), and I've been happy with the work done by this person, so I left it there. But I'd really like to be able to sit across from someone in their estate/trust dept. and ask these questions. I was surprised that I didn't succceed in doing that over the phone when I called them about this. These are the "real life" problems people encounter when attempting to find things out.

I realize there are pros and cons with this, but after many hours of thinking about this, it's the best (but far from perfect) plan I can figure out for myself. When there's no family and no friends who I would want doing this, it seems to me the only option left. I also realize that a lot can change by the time it's needed- my estate might have dwindled to the point that the bank no longer agrees to be Executor, if it's too small to administer. That's an unknown. I presume in that case, a probate court would appoint their own Executor or administrator to inventory my estate, settle debts, and take care of whatever is necessary by law. But in the meantime, I feel I must have some sort of entity shown on the Will paperwork.

Could I simply go ahead and list the bank on my Will without talking to them, and when the time comes, and the probate court asks them to do it, if they refuse, I'm no worse off than I am now. The drawing up of my Will is sort of an ongoing "project" as I learn more things about what works best for me. That's why I haven't yet gone to an attorney to have some pricey paperwork drawn up, only to have to do a bunch of codicils or addendums (which they'd charge a lot for), until I'm more confident of what I truly want and how I want it. My current Will at least gives me some peace of mind, even though I realize it contains weak points that a lawyer would give expert advice about. So, it's somewhat of a "stop gap" document, that I feel is at least better than having nothing.

I know this is a long post, but felt it important to give the full background, and why I want the bank to be the Executor (or back up). If anyone has done this and knows how it all works, what the bank requires in terms of assets on deposit before agreeing to it, and precisely WHO at the bank I should really talk to about it (other than the broker), I would greatly appreciate the input.
Thanks so much!

afan
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by afan » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:59 pm

If you are leaving everything to charity, then the only thing left would be a small amount held to cover your final expenses. You could have almost everything POD to the charity and plan to have the remainder handled under small estates, which most states have.

Banks expect to make a lot of money serving as executor. Easy to believe they would only be interested in much larger estates. Particularly a big bank. Maybe you could find a much smaller local bank that might do it on assets of the size you describe. Maybe not.
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123
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by 123 » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:16 pm

As the preceding post suggested perhaps you need to pre-arrange and prepay your final arrangements with a local funeral home and then name your preferred charity as the beneficiary of your accounts.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by MN-Investor » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:18 pm

My husband's bachelor uncle had a $2.8M estate for which a local Iowa bank was the executor. He was a long time customer who the folks knew there. The person in the trust department did a great job, coordinating with my husband on the selling of the house, personal items to distribute to the few relatives, and estate sales of both items in the house and his uncle's coin collection. A lawyer was hired to do the federal estate tax return and the Iowa inheritance tax return. I don't remember what the fee was that the bank charged, but I know that my husband and I thought it was reasonable.
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quantAndHold
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:25 pm

You can, of course, just list the bank as your executor. However, th bank does not have to accept the job. If the bank is saying thy won’t do it for a small estate, then you’ll need to find someone else. Maybe if you’re donating it all to charity, the charity could make a suggestion about who to use. Your best bet is going to be someone who will benefit from your estate.

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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bsteiner » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:45 pm

JPMorgan Chase has several groups that handle estates and trust.

One group, which I call the A team (that's my term for it, not theirs) generally requires a $25 million minimum. The people in that group are excellent, and the service there is excellent.

Another group, which I call the B team (that's my term for it, not theirs) has a lower minimum. I thought it was around $5 million, though perhaps it's now $10 million. The people there are good, and the service there is good.

The third group has a large number of smaller estates and trusts that they inherited over time from smaller banks that they acquired, either directly or indirectly. I haven't been happy dealing with them.

The lawyer who handles your estate planning should have relationships with various banks and trust companies and should be able to recommend one (or several) that would be appropriate for your situation. There are some that will take estates under $1 million, though I don't know of any that will take estates as small as $100,000.

If you're going to name a bank or trust company, it's generally a good idea to give them a draft of your Will. Another pair of eyes is always helpful. They might spot something that you and your lawyer missed. If there's something in it that would prevent them from accepting the job, or somethiung missing that they would require in order to be able to serve, they'll let you know so you can revise it if you want them to serve.

6Pack
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by 6Pack » Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:46 am

Keep in mind that beneficiary designations on your accounts are handled outside of probate and do not pass through your will.

Leemiller
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by Leemiller » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:30 am

I’m confused as to why you wouldn’t want an attorney, who you’ve actually met with, to do this vs the anonymous and likely changing trust department of a bank? The problem with naming the charity as POD is someone needs to know - in my experience banks don’t look for PODs, such people end up on the state’s missing property lists.

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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by pennybags873 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:33 am

It's suggested to NEVER keep your 'original' Will in a Safety Deposit Box.
Because, your Executor may have difficulty retrieving it.

I keep a 'photo copy' of my Will in S.D.B. just for reference only.

Original Will - Lawyers Office
Photo Copy of Will - I have at home with my Estate Planning Notebook
Photo Copy of Will - Safety Deposit Box

ETadvisor
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by ETadvisor » Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:47 am

bluebutterfly50 wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:00 pm
I saw that this issue has been somewhat discussed in another thread, but wanted to start a new post on it, detailing my particular issues and questions regarding this. I have several questions about naming my bank as the Executor of my Will/estate. First, some background info. I have over 100K in various accounts (brokerage, checking, etc.) at Chase. I called my local branch and asked to speak to someone in their "estate" department. Whoever answered the phone at the branch said they did not have an estate dept. at that branch, but that they thought the minimum for a bank to agree to be Executor was (and I quote), "10 million dollars". My mind was boggled by this remark and I said I couldn't believe that to be true, and asked to speak to someone knowledgeable. They advised me to contact my broker who handles my managed portfolio.

I haven't done this yet, because I want to find out a bit more about this before getting into a conversation with the broker. Frankly, I don't know why they were unable to cononect me to someone in their Estate/Trust Dept., because I somehow wonder if if its the broker's job to advise me on estate matters.

Here's some more background info to shed light on why I want the bank to be my Executor. I have drawn up and had notarized a Will, which I prepared using a Willmaker software program. I am single (no spouse), no kids, and only one sibling who I have named as the Executor, but because of potential ill health, I have concerns that this sibling will be able to carry out the role if I die first. There is no one else I would consider in that position or in a back-up successor position as Executor. (no friends, and no other family members I would even remotely consider for various personal reasons)
.
Those are the some of the usual reasons for selecting an independent corporate trustee. Most of the big banks (Wells Fargo/Bank of America) have dedicated trust/estate departments with minimum asset requirements as to whether accept the business. The smaller banks/trust departments will take any account regardless of asset amount. Just shop around.

Gill
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by Gill » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:17 am

I've been away from the trust business awhile, but it doesn't completely surprise me that Chase might have a $10 million minimum to act as executor. Whatever you do, don't name them them as executor in your will and expect them to accept the appointment at your death. No individual or trust company is obligated to accept an appointment as executor and you can be sure they would decline the appointment. This would result in the court appointing an executor which may not be one you would have selected.

Also, corporate fiduciaries will want to see a copy of the document before they agree to act under it. If your interests are charitably inclined, it is very easy to leave your estate to a donor advised fund and then set up the DAF to carry out your charitable intent. I have done exactly that in my own plans.
Gill
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Topic Author
bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:38 pm

afan wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:59 pm
If you are leaving everything to charity, then the only thing left would be a small amount held to cover your final expenses. You could have almost everything POD to the charity and plan to have the remainder handled under small estates, which most states have.

Banks expect to make a lot of money serving as executor. Easy to believe they would only be interested in much larger estates. Particularly a big bank. Maybe you could find a much smaller local bank that might do it on assets of the size you describe. Maybe not.
Thanks so much for your response. I asked my broker a couple of years ago if I could set up my brokerage account at Chase (where the bulk of my funds are), as a POD account to go to my charity, He specifically said "no", that only "individuals" such as a family member, friend,etc. could be handled as POD on that type of account. He said they could not do POD on an organization (in this case, the Humane Society). I will double check on this, but that has been my understanding thus far, and this broker is very knowledgeable about such things.

Re: banks expecting to make "a lot" of money as executor. My understanding is they are supposed to be paid according to the state law, just as any other executor would be paid, using the percentages set by that state. True, they might need to utilize their attorneys for specialized matters, but it would have to be approved by the probate court as being reasonable.

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bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:48 pm

MN-Investor wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:18 pm
My husband's bachelor uncle had a $2.8M estate for which a local Iowa bank was the executor. He was a long time customer who the folks knew there. The person in the trust department did a great job, coordinating with my husband on the selling of the house, personal items to distribute to the few relatives, and estate sales of both items in the house and his uncle's coin collection. A lawyer was hired to do the federal estate tax return and the Iowa inheritance tax return. I don't remember what the fee was that the bank charged, but I know that my husband and I thought it was reasonable.
Thanks for your response. It's good to know that your family was happy with the bank's work on your uncle's estate. Apparently in my case, unless the estate is fairly substantial (which I haven't yet 100% determined), I won't be able to use a bank as executor. But for those who do have that size of estate, it seems like a good option to get things done efficiently with good oversight and controls of what goes on. It's also nice to know that the bank was willing to coordinate with your family in various ways, plus reasonable fees that you were okay with.

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bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:58 pm

pennybags873 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:33 am
It's suggested to NEVER keep your 'original' Will in a Safety Deposit Box.
Because, your Executor may have difficulty retrieving it.

I keep a 'photo copy' of my Will in S.D.B. just for reference only.

Original Will - Lawyers Office
Photo Copy of Will - I have at home with my Estate Planning Notebook
Photo Copy of Will - Safety Deposit Box
Thanks for your response. I drew up the will myself using software, so I don't have an attorney's office at this time to keep my will on file. Therefore, it is in my personal files (the original). But you make a good point about an executor potentially not being able to get into the box. When I opened my box, I had assumed (wrongly), that I could merely add my family member's name to the box (this family member is currently the primary executor named on the will). However, the bank told me that this person would have to come into the bank personally with their I.D. before they could add them. The family member lives out of state and doesn't always make a trip to my area, so if something happened to me tomorrow, they would not be able to get into the box at the present time. They do have a copy of the will, but still, I might add other items to the box in the meantime that they don't have. So, all these issues need to be considered when opening a SDB and is a very good reminder to people of how things might not go smoothly when the time comes if everything isn't done properly.

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bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:10 pm

Gill wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:17 am
I've been away from the trust business awhile, but it doesn't completely surprise me that Chase might have a $10 million minimum to act as executor. Whatever you do, don't name them them as executor in your will and expect them to accept the appointment at your death. No individual or trust company is obligated to accept an appointment as executor and you can be sure they would decline the appointment. This would result in the court appointing an executor which may not be one you would have selected.

Also, corporate fiduciaries will want to see a copy of the document before they agree to act under it. If your interests are charitably inclined, it is very easy to leave your estate to a donor advised fund and then set up the DAF to carry out your charitable intent. I have done exactly that in my own plans.
Gill
Thanks for your response and helpful info. I was aware that an executor - whether corporate or individual - isn't obligated to accept the appointment. I realize if that happens, the court would have to appoint an executor who might not be who I wanted or selected. Unfortunately, because of my scenario and personal requirements (not having any other family or friends to serve as back-up to my primary executor), I don't have much choice in the matter. It will be what it is. At this time, all I can do is try my best to name a corporate back-up executor and hope for the best, because at this time, I don't have any other alternative, which sucks, but that's the way it is. It's great when people have multiple family members or friends they trust to do these things, but without that, the options dwindle, and that's just a reality of life (and death).

Thank you so much for the info about DAF. I have never heard of that, so will definitely look into it. My broker had told me that I could not set up a POD type of account for a corporate entity such as a charity (in this case, the Humane Society), so I will find out more about how the DAF functions to see if that would overcome that problem to smooth the transition of monies going to the charity in an efficient way without legal problems or delays.

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bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:49 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:45 pm
JPMorgan Chase has several groups that handle estates and trust.

One group, which I call the A team (that's my term for it, not theirs) generally requires a $25 million minimum. The people in that group are excellent, and the service there is excellent.

Another group, which I call the B team (that's my term for it, not theirs) has a lower minimum. I thought it was around $5 million, though perhaps it's now $10 million. The people there are good, and the service there is good.

The third group has a large number of smaller estates and trusts that they inherited over time from smaller banks that they acquired, either directly or indirectly. I haven't been happy dealing with them.

The lawyer who handles your estate planning should have relationships with various banks and trust companies and should be able to recommend one (or several) that would be appropriate for your situation. There are some that will take estates under $1 million, though I don't know of any that will take estates as small as $100,000.

If you're going to name a bank or trust company, it's generally a good idea to give them a draft of your Will. Another pair of eyes is always helpful. They might spot something that you and your lawyer missed. If there's something in it that would prevent them from accepting the job, or somethiung missing that they would require in order to be able to serve, they'll let you know so you can revise it if you want them to serve.
Thanks so much for your very helpful and informative comments. It's interesting that there are various "teams" devoted to estates at Chase. My estate is larger than 100K, but it's under 1 Mil. so from what you indicate, it would appear unlikely that Chase would agree to be executor. I guess my estate would fall in the third group, if they even would consider it at all. I'll try to double check on that, but as indicated, I couldn't even find a specific number to call where i could have an extended conversation with anyone in their estate/ trust dept. and was shunted over to my broker. (as indicated, I don't feel the broker is the person to answer these specifics, but should be answered by someone in their estate dept who specializes in such matters). So, it was rather frustrating dealing with Chase so far.

I also have an account at BofA, but may run into the same or similar requirements, although it looks like Chase has very high minimums to do this type of job for their clients. That's disheartening to know, but if that's the way they roll, there's nothing I can do about it. The next time someone suggests having a "bank" be the executor on an estate, I guess they should keep in mind that you'd better be a millionaire or multi-millionaire before various banks will even do this! That's an eye-opener for me, because I had assumed (wrongly) that my bank would agree to this. I don't exactly have a "small" estate (it's over 100K, and actually over 200K, but it's not 1 MIL), but compared to someone with 1MIL, I guess it is small to them.

One poster here suggested that I seek out a small local bank to do this who has low minimum requirements, but that would mean transferring my assets or a portion of my assets to a small bank, which isn't something I am too keen on doing, just to get them to be an executor. So, that may not be a solution.
If someone on this board could find out, specifically, what the deposit minimums are at various banks to agree to be an executor on a will, that would be an interesting project. Do they publish this info anywhere? Is it a secret? Does it change depending on who the client is? I'm curious to know. All i know is that the guy on the phone at Chase said 10 mil, so that could very well be the current minimum required. I do understand that a bank doesn't want to bother with a very small estate with a few thousand in the account. But when its hundreds of thousands of dollars...that makes no sense that they would not agree to administer an estate of that size. Wouldn't they make money handling it?

Again, thank you for your great response, it's been very helpful!

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BL
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by BL » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:06 pm

Frankly, I think you are being penny-wise and pound-foolish to avoid going to a lawyer in your case. (I avoid them myself as much as possible, though I admire those who contribute to Bogleheads!)
I think a good lawyer could help you solve these problems, even if you have to pay more now.

Agree to look into DAF(und)s such as Vanguard and Fidelity have. No personal experience here. Maybe even check out V or F for a lower-cost brokerage, as banks are notoriously high-cost.
Last edited by BL on Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by SrGrumpy » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:07 pm

I posed a similar question a year or so ago - whom to name as an executor if I have no family/friends who could do it. Someone wisely suggested my county's public administrator (there may be different appellations). For example, this is the link to the one in Los Angeles County.

https://ttc.lacounty.gov/Proptax/PAGene ... mation.htm

This FAQ might be better:

https://ttc.lacounty.gov/Proptax/PAFAQ.htm

afan
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by afan » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:17 pm

If the bank is getting a percent of assets then they want the total assets to be large enough that the percent charged will generate enough revenue to cover their costs. So having a minimum asset size is the way to do that. They cannot charge a flat fee because they cannot know how much time and effort will be required. As far as I know, banks agreeing to be executors have language that permits them to charge extra if settling the estate turns out to be prolonged or complicated. Gill and bsteiner would know the details.

If you can find a bank that will accept the job there is no need to transfer your assets their while you are alive.There is no reason that the executor needs to have the assets on hand before death. It would make life easier, but if you had an individual be executor they would not hold all your assets during life. They would have to collect them. Same as a bank.

If your state law really does not permit POD to a charity (in most states this is fine), then you should be able to do a Totten trust. At worst, you could create a revocable trust with the charity as beneficiary and put your assets in the trust. Someone would still have to be trustee at your death, but if you have collected all your assets in one place settling your estate might be simple.

You plan to leave your assets to a large charity. They all have development offices that are expert at how to convey money to them on death. Contact them and see what they suggest.

At your asset size and given your intentions at death, I would agree that DIY estate planning makes more sense than spending a significant portion of your networth on an estate planning attorney.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

bsteiner
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bsteiner » Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:08 pm

bluebutterfly50 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:49 pm
... I don't exactly have a "small" estate (it's over 100K, and actually over 200K, but it's not 1 MIL), but compared to someone with 1MIL, I guess it is small to them.

One poster here suggested that I seek out a small local bank to do this who has low minimum requirements, but that would mean transferring my assets or a portion of my assets to a small bank, which isn't something I am too keen on doing, just to get them to be an executor. So, that may not be a solution.
If someone on this board could find out, specifically, what the deposit minimums are at various banks to agree to be an executor on a will, that would be an interesting project. Do they publish this info anywhere? Is it a secret? Does it change depending on who the client is? ...
You don't need to have a prior relationship with a bank or trust company for them to accept appointment as executor.

$200,000 to $1 million is a wide range. While I don't know of any banks or trust companies that will act as executor for a $200,000 estate, some smaller banks and trust companies would be willing to act as executor of an estate in the high 6 figures.

By minimum size, I mean minimum fee. For example, a bank might have a minimum fee for acting as executor equal to the percentage that they would charge on an estate of $x, which I view as having a $x minimum size requirement.

They don't keep it a secret. Your lawyer can call his/her contacts in the trust department of a few banks and trust companies he/she thinks might be appropriate, and they'll give him/her their current fee schedules, including minimum fees.

It does indeed change depending on who the client is. If a bank or trust company wants a particular person as a client, they'll be more flexible. If close family members have a relationship with them, they'll be more flexible.

afan
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by afan » Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:09 pm

Note that the OP is going DIY for estate planning. Given the size of the estate and the simple goals that could be a good idea.

Hiring an estate planning expert could cost several percent of networth. OP could get advice on what to do but it may not be worth the cost.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

Topic Author
bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:13 pm

BL wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:06 pm
Frankly, I think you are being penny-wise and pound-foolish to avoid going to a lawyer in your case. (I avoid them myself as much as possible, though I admire those who contribute to Bogleheads!)
I think a good lawyer could help you solve these problems, even if you have to pay more now.

Agree to look into DAF(und)s such as Vanguard and Fidelity have. No personal experience here. Maybe even check out V or F for a lower-cost brokerage, as banks are notoriously high-cost.
I may not permanently avoid getting legal advice, because I certainly agree that at some point, it may be beneficial for me to do so. I will look into Vanguard and the DAF funds. Re: attorneys, it can be a costly endeavor to constantly consult with a lawyer, or constantly draw up paperwork that ultimately ends up having to be changed or updated. As an example, when I first decided to do my will, I really didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, or who I wanted to appoint as executor. I got some fairly good willmaker software and appointed two family members - one as the primary executor and the other as back-up. Within the short space of a year, I had decided, for various reasons, to remove the back-up executor. I drew up a codicil using the forms in the software, had it notarized, and provided the primary executor with a copy of that update. I made it clear to the family member that my will is in the early stages and is somewhat of a "work in progress", as I learned more about what I really wanted and needed.

I realized at that time that it probably wasn't a perfect document, but it was better than having nothing. Having nothing would have been the biggest mistake. I still feel that way. I'm sure there are things in it that a lawyer would recommend doing differently, but I'd like to wait another year or so before paying for a will and maybe even then, having to redo it and redo it. My parents drew up their own trust using some very basic forms, I was their sole beneficiary, they had zero legal experience and never ONCE consulted a lawyer. Everything passed smoothly to me, no problems, no issues. My estate really is not a complex one. My main issue at the moment is finding an appropriate back-up executor, which I had wrongly assumed would be fairly easy to do by putting my bank on. In just a few minutes on this forum, I've found out that may not be the situation, and now I have pertinent questions to ask my bank. All without a lawyer. So, for now, I'm going to continue to research and ask questions and see what's possible and what's not possible. Then maybe I can make any consult I decide to have with a lawyer really count and give me bang for my buck. I'll have a pertinent framework to refer to, I'll have some background, and can assess more accurately whether the attorney is understanding my wants and needs or is just there to make a profit and suggest things for a fee that I don't need or want and won't work for me. And in the meantime, at least I do have a Will, it's been duly notarized, it contains basic info about my estate and my charity is specified, which gives me some peace of mind. I personally don't consider that pennywise and pound foolish. I consider it a wise use of my resources at this juncture. And that may be why I have resources to begin with, because I always watched my money carefully!

Topic Author
bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:33 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:07 pm
I posed a similar question a year or so ago - whom to name as an executor if I have no family/friends who could do it. Someone wisely suggested my county's public administrator (there may be different appellations). For example, this is the link to the one in Los Angeles County.

https://ttc.lacounty.gov/Proptax/PAGene ... mation.htm

This FAQ might be better:

https://ttc.lacounty.gov/Proptax/PAFAQ.htm
Thanks very much for this info, I'll definitely keep it in mind if the bank can't or won't act as executor. I think many people assume that the "county" only does these services for indigent people or those with no assets who die without a will or who have made no arrangements whatsoever for their estate. But clearly a person can specify the public administrator in their will. So, this is good info for people to know. (and of course, consulting their local county gov. as to the duties of the administrator in their county.) If you don't mind my asking, have you actually specified this in your Will? Or do you know anyone else who has, and if so, did the administrator do a good job? Thanks again for the very helpful info.

Topic Author
bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:03 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:08 pm
bluebutterfly50 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:49 pm
... I don't exactly have a "small" estate (it's over 100K, and actually over 200K, but it's not 1 MIL), but compared to someone with 1MIL, I guess it is small to them.

One poster here suggested that I seek out a small local bank to do this who has low minimum requirements, but that would mean transferring my assets or a portion of my assets to a small bank, which isn't something I am too keen on doing, just to get them to be an executor. So, that may not be a solution.
If someone on this board could find out, specifically, what the deposit minimums are at various banks to agree to be an executor on a will, that would be an interesting project. Do they publish this info anywhere? Is it a secret? Does it change depending on who the client is? ...
You don't need to have a prior relationship with a bank or trust company for them to accept appointment as executor.

$200,000 to $1 million is a wide range. While I don't know of any banks or trust companies that will act as executor for a $200,000 estate, some smaller banks and trust companies would be willing to act as executor of an estate in the high 6 figures.

By minimum size, I mean minimum fee. For example, a bank might have a minimum fee for acting as executor equal to the percentage that they would charge on an estate of $x, which I view as having a $x minimum size requirement.

They don't keep it a secret. Your lawyer can call his/her contacts in the trust department of a few banks and trust companies he/she thinks might be appropriate, and they'll give him/her their current fee schedules, including minimum fees.

It does indeed change depending on who the client is. If a bank or trust company wants a particular person as a client, they'll be more flexible. If close family members have a relationship with them, they'll be more flexible.
Thanks so much for this information. You say that I would not need to have a prior relationship with a bank for them to accept appointment as executor. That's surprising that a bank wouldn't require me to have an account or deposits with them to agree to be an executor, but i guess I could ask around and see what I find out. Thanks also for your remarks regarding minimum fees and how they might figure those percentages.

Re: them not keeping the minimums a secret, it may not be a "secret", but I certainly didn't get the feeling that they were forthcoming with info when I phoned them, nor did they send me to anyone in their estate/trust department. I couldn't find anything specific on this topic at their website either. I don't have an attorney, so at this point, I'm trying to find out info on my own. That's easier said than done. As an excellent customer of Chase for years, it's just frustrating that I feel like they didn't really want to assist me. So, I'll probably move on from Chase with this matter and go elsewhere. As far as them being flexible depending on who the client is, or if a close family member has a relationship with them, that seems like an unfair way to do business. But I guess that's just the reality of the situation. Thanks again for all the info, I appreciate it a great deal.

Topic Author
bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:04 pm

bsteiner wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 3:08 pm
bluebutterfly50 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:49 pm
... I don't exactly have a "small" estate (it's over 100K, and actually over 200K, but it's not 1 MIL), but compared to someone with 1MIL, I guess it is small to them.

One poster here suggested that I seek out a small local bank to do this who has low minimum requirements, but that would mean transferring my assets or a portion of my assets to a small bank, which isn't something I am too keen on doing, just to get them to be an executor. So, that may not be a solution.
If someone on this board could find out, specifically, what the deposit minimums are at various banks to agree to be an executor on a will, that would be an interesting project. Do they publish this info anywhere? Is it a secret? Does it change depending on who the client is? ...
You don't need to have a prior relationship with a bank or trust company for them to accept appointment as executor.

$200,000 to $1 million is a wide range. While I don't know of any banks or trust companies that will act as executor for a $200,000 estate, some smaller banks and trust companies would be willing to act as executor of an estate in the high 6 figures.

By minimum size, I mean minimum fee. For example, a bank might have a minimum fee for acting as executor equal to the percentage that they would charge on an estate of $x, which I view as having a $x minimum size requirement.

They don't keep it a secret. Your lawyer can call his/her contacts in the trust department of a few banks and trust companies he/she thinks might be appropriate, and they'll give him/her their current fee schedules, including minimum fees.

It does indeed change depending on who the client is. If a bank or trust company wants a particular person as a client, they'll be more flexible. If close family members have a relationship with them, they'll be more flexible.
Thanks so much for this information. You say that I would not need to have a prior relationship with a bank for them to accept appointment as executor. That's surprising that a bank wouldn't require me to have an account or deposits with them to agree to be an executor, but i guess I could ask around and see what I find out. Thanks also for your remarks regarding minimum fees and how they might figure those percentages.

Re: them not keeping the minimums a secret, it may not be a "secret", but I certainly didn't get the feeling that they were forthcoming with info when I phoned them, nor did they send me to anyone in their estate/trust department. I couldn't find anything specific on this topic at their website either. I don't have an attorney, so at this point, I'm trying to find out info on my own. That's easier said than done. As an excellent customer of Chase for years, it's just frustrating that I feel like they didn't really want to assist me. So, I'll probably move on from Chase with this matter and go elsewhere. As far as them being flexible depending on who the client is, or if a close family member has a relationship with them, that seems like an unfair way to do business. But I guess that's just the reality of the situation. Thanks again for all the info, I appreciate it a great deal.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by SrGrumpy » Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:41 pm

bluebutterfly50 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:33 pm
SrGrumpy wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:07 pm
I posed a similar question a year or so ago - whom to name as an executor if I have no family/friends who could do it. Someone wisely suggested my county's public administrator (there may be different appellations). For example, this is the link to the one in Los Angeles County.

https://ttc.lacounty.gov/Proptax/PAGene ... mation.htm

This FAQ might be better:

https://ttc.lacounty.gov/Proptax/PAFAQ.htm
If you don't mind my asking, have you actually specified this in your Will? Or do you know anyone else who has, and if so, did the administrator do a good job? Thanks again for the very helpful info.
Not yet, and no. Like you, I am still in the planning, re-planning, revising stage. I'm inclined to go with the County because my only other options are a wife who does not understand routing numbers and a hermetic friend who has disappeared. The following NYT article about the administrator in Kings County, NY, cites "disturbing dysfunction" - which pretty much describes life in Los Angeles County.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/18/nyre ... -city.html

Topic Author
bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:03 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:41 pm
bluebutterfly50 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:33 pm
SrGrumpy wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:07 pm
I posed a similar question a year or so ago - whom to name as an executor if I have no family/friends who could do it. Someone wisely suggested my county's public administrator (there may be different appellations). For example, this is the link to the one in Los Angeles County.

https://ttc.lacounty.gov/Proptax/PAGene ... mation.htm

This FAQ might be better:

https://ttc.lacounty.gov/Proptax/PAFAQ.htm
If you don't mind my asking, have you actually specified this in your Will? Or do you know anyone else who has, and if so, did the administrator do a good job? Thanks again for the very helpful info.
Not yet, and no. Like you, I am still in the planning, re-planning, revising stage. I'm inclined to go with the County because my only other options are a wife who does not understand routing numbers and a hermetic friend who has disappeared. The following NYT article about the administrator in Kings County, NY, cites "disturbing dysfunction" - which pretty much describes life in Los Angeles County.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/18/nyre ... -city.html
Thanks so much for the NY times article. I read the whole thing, always fascinating to see what happens when someone dies alone or without immediate family. I grew up in LA. so I'm quite aware of all the "dysfunctions" that occur in that city! I no longer live there, but in a similar large and dysfunctional city nearby, so am somewhat concerned about appointing the County as executor. But like you, unless I can figure out an alternative, it may be the only way to do it. Knowing the types of people who work for the county in some of these capacities, it fills me with anxiety to think about my personal possessions, home, and other items being inventoried or dealt with in ways I probably won't like! I was amazed at how much the administrator in New York was able to get from Mr. Bell's estate, and how diligent they actually were in tracking down his Will and the friends he named in the will.

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bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:23 pm

I just want to update this thread a bit on the issue of having a bank as executor of my will. I have found this to be a rather confusing journey, trying to get a straight answer from anyone at either Chase bank or Bank of America. My broker at Chase did a lot of "hemming" and "hawing" about what a bank would or would not do re: being an executor. I've never been able to nail down a specific dollar amount that Chase would require to have on deposit before they would agree.

Today, I called Bof A, and was unable to find anyone to speak with about this issue whatsoever. They have an "estate" phone number at their website, which is only for reporting deceased customers and getting estates settled, but when I asked about BofA's protocols about being an Executor of a will, they immediately told me to "talk to a lawyer" and would not give me any further information or any other phone number to contact within BofA.

Someone here said that this information about how much or what a bank would require to be an executor is "not a secret". Well, so far, it sure seems to be! I've pretty much given up on this line of investigation, but it has been quite frustrating never to get a straight answer from banks that i've been a very good customer of for many years, as were my parents. It's also frustrating to see certain online legal advice websites suggesting banks as a viable alternative for people who are seeking third party corporate entities to be executor of their estate. NONE of them ever warn people that the estate would need to be very large, and that this option is (seemingly), not an option for most people.

Gill
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by Gill » Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:39 pm

Unfortunately, bank trust department minimums have skyrocketed. When I first entered the trust business I administered a $75,000 estate with the bank as sole executor. At the end of my years in the business the firm was not interested in anything much less than $5 million. Your best bet is a smaller bank or trust company. The Morgan’s and the Northern Trust’s of the business don’t want the likes of us to darken their doors.
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal

JGoneRiding
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by JGoneRiding » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:17 am

bluebutterfly50 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:58 pm
pennybags873 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:33 am
It's suggested to NEVER keep your 'original' Will in a Safety Deposit Box.
Because, your Executor may have difficulty retrieving it.

I keep a 'photo copy' of my Will in S.D.B. just for reference only.

Original Will - Lawyers Office
Photo Copy of Will - I have at home with my Estate Planning Notebook
Photo Copy of Will - Safety Deposit Box
Thanks for your response. I drew up the will myself using software, so I don't have an attorney's office at this time to keep my will on file. Therefore, it is in my personal files (the original). But you make a good point about an executor potentially not being able to get into the box. When I opened my box, I had assumed (wrongly), that I could merely add my family member's name to the box (this family member is currently the primary executor named on the will). However, the bank told me that this person would have to come into the bank personally with their I.D. before they could add them. The family member lives out of state and doesn't always make a trip to my area, so if something happened to me tomorrow, they would not be able to get into the box at the present time. They do have a copy of the will, but still, I might add other items to the box in the meantime that they don't have. So, all these issues need to be considered when opening a SDB and is a very good reminder to people of how things might not go smoothly when the time comes if everything isn't done properly.
I sincerely hope you have written into your will to compensate and part of your estate goes to this family member. I can tell you if one of my maiden aunts wanted me to do their will but wanted everything to go to charity I would decline and simply hand everything over to the charity. The charity doesn't care one iota about you they just want what is "theirs" and can make the probate a mess.

Assuming it is reasonable to expect this family member to outlive you I would decide how much you want to give them and then designate everything else to the charity. A logical split might be the family gets the house and all personal items to deal with along with a personal bank account that has sufficient funds to bury you settle debts and deal with the closing of life and then designate charities or a DAF for everything else.

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bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:28 am

Gill wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:39 pm
Unfortunately, bank trust department minimums have skyrocketed. When I first entered the trust business I administered a $75,000 estate with the bank as sole executor. At the end of my years in the business the firm was not interested in anything much less than $5 million. Your best bet is a smaller bank or trust company. The Morgan’s and the Northern Trust’s of the business don’t want the likes of us to darken their doors.
Gill
Thanks for your response. Yes, this is what I have unfortunately also found out, and I wish sites like NOLO or other legal advice sites would make that clear to their readers, most of whom have far less than 5 mil or even 1 mil. It's too bad that this very useful avenue has been very much closed off to most people. As for smaller banks, is there one you could recommend? I'm only familiar with the large banks and really don't know anything about other small financial institutions. Thanks again for your advice and response.

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bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:36 am

JGoneRiding wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:17 am
bluebutterfly50 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:58 pm
pennybags873 wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:33 am
It's suggested to NEVER keep your 'original' Will in a Safety Deposit Box.
Because, your Executor may have difficulty retrieving it.

I keep a 'photo copy' of my Will in S.D.B. just for reference only.

Original Will - Lawyers Office
Photo Copy of Will - I have at home with my Estate Planning Notebook
Photo Copy of Will - Safety Deposit Box
Thanks for your response. I drew up the will myself using software, so I don't have an attorney's office at this time to keep my will on file. Therefore, it is in my personal files (the original). But you make a good point about an executor potentially not being able to get into the box. When I opened my box, I had assumed (wrongly), that I could merely add my family member's name to the box (this family member is currently the primary executor named on the will). However, the bank told me that this person would have to come into the bank personally with their I.D. before they could add them. The family member lives out of state and doesn't always make a trip to my area, so if something happened to me tomorrow, they would not be able to get into the box at the present time. They do have a copy of the will, but still, I might add other items to the box in the meantime that they don't have. So, all these issues need to be considered when opening a SDB and is a very good reminder to people of how things might not go smoothly when the time comes if everything isn't done properly.
I sincerely hope you have written into your will to compensate and part of your estate goes to this family member. I can tell you if one of my maiden aunts wanted me to do their will but wanted everything to go to charity I would decline and simply hand everything over to the charity. The charity doesn't care one iota about you they just want what is "theirs" and can make the probate a mess.

Assuming it is reasonable to expect this family member to outlive you I would decide how much you want to give them and then designate everything else to the charity. A logical split might be the family gets the house and all personal items to deal with along with a personal bank account that has sufficient funds to bury you settle debts and deal with the closing of life and then designate charities or a DAF for everything else.
In my will, the family member who is Executor has been left a bequest, to be paid out of my estate. It's not huge, but it takes into account the fact that an executor is also paid a percentage by statute (varies by state), of whatever is in the estate at time of death, which in my case could amount to a nice sum of money, so I feel they have been compensated adequately. If they don't feel that way at the time, there's no legal requirement for them to take on the task of executor, and therefore that's why it's so important for me to have a back-up executor who can and will do the job. I have also set aside a TOD account to this family member for immediate access to burial funds, to pay for a plot (if I haven't already bought one), or related funeral expenses. I would never ask anyone to go uncompensated in the task of being an executor, as I know it can entail a lot of work and potential hassles.

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8foot7
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by 8foot7 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:42 am

bluebutterfly50 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:36 am


In my will, the family member who is Executor has been left a bequest, to be paid out of my estate. It's not huge, but it takes into account the fact that an executor is also paid a percentage by statute (varies by state), of whatever is in the estate at time of death, which in my case could amount to a nice sum of money, so I feel they have been compensated adequately. If they don't feel that way at the time, there's no legal requirement for them to take on the task of executor, and therefore that's why it's so important for me to have a back-up executor who can and will do the job. I have also set aside a TOD account to this family member for immediate access to burial funds, to pay for a plot (if I haven't already bought one), or related funeral expenses. I would never ask anyone to go uncompensated in the task of being an executor, as I know it can entail a lot of work and potential hassles.
Please be aware that even though executor compensation may be available per statute, when my wife attempted to claim it, she was met with a lot of resistance from the court. Her lawyer was able to convince the judge that her claim was adequate but in the end she was forced to accept less for technical reasons I don't fully understand. You may want to revisit your gift to your eventual executor or executrix in light of the fact that he or she may not actually receive the compensation you think they will.

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bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:11 am

8foot7 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:42 am
bluebutterfly50 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:36 am


In my will, the family member who is Executor has been left a bequest, to be paid out of my estate. It's not huge, but it takes into account the fact that an executor is also paid a percentage by statute (varies by state), of whatever is in the estate at time of death, which in my case could amount to a nice sum of money, so I feel they have been compensated adequately. If they don't feel that way at the time, there's no legal requirement for them to take on the task of executor, and therefore that's why it's so important for me to have a back-up executor who can and will do the job. I have also set aside a TOD account to this family member for immediate access to burial funds, to pay for a plot (if I haven't already bought one), or related funeral expenses. I would never ask anyone to go uncompensated in the task of being an executor, as I know it can entail a lot of work and potential hassles.
Please be aware that even though executor compensation may be available per statute, when my wife attempted to claim it, she was met with a lot of resistance from the court. Her lawyer was able to convince the judge that her claim was adequate but in the end she was forced to accept less for technical reasons I don't fully understand. You may want to revisit your gift to your eventual executor or executrix in light of the fact that he or she may not actually receive the compensation you think they will.
I'm sure from time to time there are issues of inadequate claim or an executor claiming that they did certain things to settle the estate that the court may take issue with and deny the full amount of the compensation for various technical reasons. However, I'm not going to increase the bequest on the off chance that something like this might or might not happen. There's various reasons on my end for not wanting to increase the amount of the bequest. I actually don't even want this particular family member for personal reasons to be the Executor but it's the best of the worst choices available to me, so it is what it is, for them and for me. If they were to outlive me and agree to serve as Executor and at the end of it not receive what they are supposed to receive from the state for carrying out those duties, that would be unfortunate, but nothing that I can control at that point. I might be more concerned about that type of scenario if my estate were very complex, but it really isn't. I'd be curious if others out there have had this problem (being denied the full compensation allowed by statute). And if so, what caused the court to compensate them for less.

Gill
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by Gill » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:29 am

ETadvisor wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 9:47 am
The smaller banks/trust departments will take any account regardless of asset amount. Just shop around.
I suppose this might be true as long as you're willing to pay a minimum fee. If the bank's minimum estate is $1 million on which they receive a fee of $30,000 say, they will likely accept a half million dollar estate as long as you are still willing to pay the $30,000 fee for an effective charge of 6%. As bsteiner mentioned in one of his posts, it's not so much the bank having a minimum size account, it's the minimum fee they request.
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal

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celia
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by celia » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:31 am

One basic question for you:

When you die, how will any entity you specify find out that you have died and know where your will/ trust is?

Gill
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by Gill » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:32 am

bluebutterfly50 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:28 am
As for smaller banks, is there one you could recommend? I'm only familiar with the large banks and really don't know anything about other small financial institutions. Thanks again for your advice and response.
What state are you in? Banks are normally not qualified to serve as PR unless they do business in the state of your domicile.
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal

gsmith
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by gsmith » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:13 pm

You probably already know what the responsibilities of an executor, but it is an thankless task that's full of risk and drama.

Depending on the will, they may have provide an accounting to the probate court of assets distributed, etc.
There may be claims against the estate that has to meet certain requirements to be approved, and it takes experience to know how to deal with this.
Even as an executor for family, I relied heavily on the attorney who drafted the will, and he saved tens of thousands in bad claims.
First thing I did was hire the attorney to draft my own.

I would second the recommendation to reconsider talking to an attorney.

Greg

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bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:55 pm

celia wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:31 am
One basic question for you:

When you die, how will any entity you specify find out that you have died and know where your will/ trust is?
That's a very good question and one which I think troubles a lot of people who may not have family or friends available when the time comes. Most of my bank accounts are set up as TOD accounts, but the question still remains: how does the bank know a person has died unless someone files a death certificate and alerts them to put things in motion. Just because a piece of paper or papers is sitting at their bank, or in a safe deposit box, doesn't magically set off some series of actions on the part of the bank. I will most likely give a copy of one of my TOD accounts to the charity of my choice so that they at least have some pre-knowledge of my intentions, and perhaps they will have some suggestions to insure that things are located properly, but again, that doesn't answer the question of how or when they would even know I had died. That type of knowledge usually comes about via family or friends who get the ball rolling on sending the appropriate paperwork to various entities. I'm going to consult with an estate lawyer in a couple of months and ask this basic question, and maybe find out if there's some way to handle it. I'm somewhat leery at this point of sending copies of financial documents or a will to outside parties. (identity theft or other issues). If I decide, as someone suggested, to appoint the Public Administrator of my local county as the back-up Executor, I could and most likely would put a copy of my Will with them (pursuant to their protocols on doing that), and perhaps they would have some mechanism upon receipt of a death certificate to start the process going.

It used to be that people (before they die), could "file" their will with their county for safekeeping. That apparently is no longer done. I checked on that about 5 years ago with my local county and they said absolutely not, that they only will accept a will for official filing when someone has died and NOT before. So there is no official way for me to "file" my will ahead of time with the County. If I have named the County as the Executor, I presume they would agree to accept it in some fashion or other into the system, but I don't know yet. My local county does say at their website that it's a "good idea" to provide a copy to them if they (the Public Administrator), is named as Executor. So that's one avenue I am currently exploring.

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celia
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by celia » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:19 pm

I don’t mean to sound tacky, but just assume you are at home reading Bogleheads.org on your computer when you have a heart attack or choke on food you were eating, then die. What would be the chain of events for you? How long would it take to notice you weren’t showing up like you usually do? At what point would someone actually DO something besides just wonder where you are.

There’s the immediate actions taken when someone finds you and stuff happens until you are buried. Then I imagine that there’s a slower response when someone realizes someone has to do something about your “stuff”.

How do you imagine those steps will play out?

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bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:50 pm

celia wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:19 pm
I don’t mean to sound tacky, but just assume you are at home reading Bogleheads.org on your computer when you have a heart attack or choke on food you were eating, then die. What would be the chain of events for you? How long would it take to notice you weren’t showing up like you usually do? At what point would someone actually DO something besides just wonder where you are.

There’s the immediate actions taken when someone finds you and stuff happens until you are buried. Then I imagine that there’s a slower response when someone realizes someone has to do something about your “stuff”.

How do you imagine those steps will play out?
At this precise moment in time, if the scenario occurred that you describe, a sibling (actually the one who is my Executor), is in touch on a daily basis and would fairly quickly realize something was wrong if I didn't respond and take immediate action to find out what was wrong and initiate a well being check. (the sibling lives in another state, so it may take a few hours). I also have a good friend who is another state, too, and is in touch, but might not be able to take immediate action for various reasons. I have considered getting one of those emergency response bracelets or alarms, and I think many people, even those with friends or relatives, could find themselves in a very bad spot without some type of immediate (within a few minutes) response. These are all very important issues for anyone to consider and have a plan that works, for immediate health crisis, and down the line, for the proper handling of estate matters.

Gill
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by Gill » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:06 pm

In my former life, someone in the bank combed the daily obituaries and county clerk record of deaths and searched bank records with each name. This, of course, would not locate deaths outside of the local area. Probably the use of the Internet is more prevalent now.
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal

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bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:34 pm

Gill wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:06 pm
In my former life, someone in the bank combed the daily obituaries and county clerk record of deaths and searched bank records with each name. This, of course, would not locate deaths outside of the local area. Probably the use of the Internet is more prevalent now.
Gill
Yes, I presume that banks have some sort of internal mechanism set up to alert them that a customer is deceased, such as inactivity on the account held by the customer/client. Of course, that could take several weeks to trigger payouts on TOD accounts or other things (assuming no one shows up to claim the funds). Someone said that banks aren't always the best about hunting down beneficiaries and therefore money can sometimes end up going back to the state as unclaimed. It would be interesting if someone here who works in a bank could add some thoughts on this issue as to exactly how a bank finds out that a customer has died. I'm sure that info probably comes into them via a variety of ways in varying timeframes, depending on the individual circumstances.

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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by letsgobobby » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:47 pm

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bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:54 am

letsgobobby wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:47 pm
There's not a single person in your life whom you can entrust with this delicate task? Not one? That seems to be an even bigger issue!
Yes, I have a sibling who is Executor of my will at present time. So yes, I have someone, but they are 8 years older than me and live out of state and not in good health. So they could end up not being able to carry out Executor duties due to health issues.. Finding people to entrust with serious estate matters, financial matters, etc. is not necessarily an easy task. My parents were 100% trustworthy but they passed away several years ago. I'm not married. No kids. Friends have their own issues and problems that make them poor options. This is why I felt a bank or other neutral corporate entity would be a great option for me, but unfortunately the bank requires an extremely high balance on deposit to do it. Most people have a spouse or kids to take care of these matters, but when those two options don't exist, the choices of who to "trust" can be few and far between.

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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by Gill » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:58 am

Have you discussed this with the charity you plan to benefit? I have heard of charities acting as personal representative of estates where they are the primary beneficiary.
Gill
Cost basis is redundant. One has a basis in an investment | One advises and gives advice | One should follow the principle of investing one's principal

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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by 8foot7 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:59 am

bluebutterfly50 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:34 pm
Gill wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:06 pm
In my former life, someone in the bank combed the daily obituaries and county clerk record of deaths and searched bank records with each name. This, of course, would not locate deaths outside of the local area. Probably the use of the Internet is more prevalent now.
Gill
Yes, I presume that banks have some sort of internal mechanism set up to alert them that a customer is deceased, such as inactivity on the account held by the customer/client. Of course, that could take several weeks to trigger payouts on TOD accounts or other things (assuming no one shows up to claim the funds). Someone said that banks aren't always the best about hunting down beneficiaries and therefore money can sometimes end up going back to the state as unclaimed. It would be interesting if someone here who works in a bank could add some thoughts on this issue as to exactly how a bank finds out that a customer has died. I'm sure that info probably comes into them via a variety of ways in varying timeframes, depending on the individual circumstances.
I know for one thing there is a Social Security Death Master File that goes around to financial institutions, usually to match up with clawing back that last month of SS payments. This obviously doesn't catch folks not on disability under age 62 but I would imagine it manages to snag a large portion of things. I do know funeral homes in many states are required to notify SS when a body reaches them, even before a death certificate is issued.

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bluebutterfly50
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Re: Bank As Executor Of Will?

Post by bluebutterfly50 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:08 am

8foot7 wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:59 am
bluebutterfly50 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:34 pm
Gill wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:06 pm
In my former life, someone in the bank combed the daily obituaries and county clerk record of deaths and searched bank records with each name. This, of course, would not locate deaths outside of the local area. Probably the use of the Internet is more prevalent now.
Gill
Yes, I presume that banks have some sort of internal mechanism set up to alert them that a customer is deceased, such as inactivity on the account held by the customer/client. Of course, that could take several weeks to trigger payouts on TOD accounts or other things (assuming no one shows up to claim the funds). Someone said that banks aren't always the best about hunting down beneficiaries and therefore money can sometimes end up going back to the state as unclaimed. It would be interesting if someone here who works in a bank could add some thoughts on this issue as to exactly how a bank finds out that a customer has died. I'm sure that info probably comes into them via a variety of ways in varying timeframes, depending on the individual circumstances.
I know for one thing there is a Social Security Death Master File that goes around to financial institutions, usually to match up with clawing back that last month of SS payments. This obviously doesn't catch folks not on disability under age 62 but I would imagine it manages to snag a large portion of things. I do know funeral homes in many states are required to notify SS when a body reaches them, even before a death certificate is issued.
Thanks for the helpful information. Good to know.

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