Financial Life Planning Tips from Betty-Anne Howard, Athena Wealth and Legacy Planning: “Who else can I appoint as my Executor to help our bright, smart, adult kids settle our estate?”

“Who else can I appoint as my Executor to help our bright, smart, adult kids settle our estate?”

This is a question we are hearing more and more often these days. 

Usually, upon exploration,  the thinking behind this question is; “We know that settling an estate is getting more complex, difficult, and time consuming, and we don’t want to leave this burden to our kids”. 

And, in some cases this question also includes, “Can we name this entity as the Power of Attorney for our Property?”

The next question is usually, if these are our options, how much will this cost?  We’ve heard people say things like; “I don’t like the fact that this company is going to take 15% off the top of my estate, based on the total value of our estate!”  

The good news is that you have options for who you can hire to do this job – to be the Executor of your will and to assign as the power of attorney of your property. 

Let’s start with understanding that any Executor, no matter who it is, has the option to charge your estate 5% of the total value of your estate for performing that job for you (actually it’s your estate they are settling so theoretically it’s not you personally, at that moment). Thus, it stands to reason that as a starting point a cost of 5% based on the value of your estate can be expected to be paid. 

For example, if you have an estate value of $1million, the cost would be $50,000.  Many estate planning lawyers who provide these services will charge 5%. Full disclosure: we’ve set our estate up with our lawyer and asked them to be our Executor and that’s what we expect to pay for those services.

There are a number of banks/trust companies that offer these services as well and will charge you a certain amount/percentage depending on if your investments are being held within their firm and the total value of your estate.

We are in the process of summarizing these details for comparison purposes so our clients can make an informed decision regarding who they’d like to hire to be their Executor. This comparison will include a summary of costs and services provided. 

If you find yourself asking, “What are my options, and how much does it cost to hire an Executor for my will?” – we’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation.

Till next time

Betty-Anne Howard / Athena Wealth and Legacy Solutions


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