THE EXECUTOR~Poem by Edgar A. Guest
I had a friend who died and he, On earth so loved and trusted me, That ere he quit this earthly shore, He made me his executor. He tasked me through my natural life, To guard the interests of his wife, To see that everything was done, Both for his daughter and his son. I have his money to invest, And though I try my level best, To do what wisely, I’m advised, My judgment oft is criticized.
His widow once so calm and meek, Comes, hot with rage, three times a week, And rails at me, because I must, To keep my oath appear unjust. His children hate the sight of me, Although their friend I’ve tried to be, And every relative declares, I interfere with his affairs. Now when I die I’ll never ask, A friend to carry such a task, I’ll spare him all such anguish sore, And leave a hired executor.~by Edgar A. Guest
Once people really learn about the demands involved with settling an estate, the more they realize why it may be so unfair to place this responsibility single-handedly on the shoulders of a spouse, adult child, relative or an old friend. Here are just a few of the duties of an executor:
• Collect and safeguard estate assets
• Inventory all assets and obtain valuations
• Pay valid debts and collect money owed
• File all final federal and state tax returns
• Pay all of the personal, estate & inheritance taxes due
• Maintain detailed accounting records
• Prepare a complete accounting and file it with the court if required
• Carry out all of the terms of the last will in an unbiased manner
Grieving the loss of a loved one is difficult enough without placing the additional burden of having to do all that is necessary to settle the estate. Additionally how many of us have the acumen to do all that is necessary to settle the estate as executor? Maybe a better choice is to select a corporate fiduciary as a co-executor with the spouse, adult child, relative or old friend because of his or her knowledge of the deceased as well as the beneficiaries of the estate.
When it comes to estate settlement a corporate executor provides “one stop shopping”.
• Administering an estate can be difficult. The executor must follow the laws of the state where the deceased was domiciled. Also, federal and state tax returns come into play and need to be completed and filed in a timely manner.
• The executor is usually presented with a variety of assets, from real estate, stocks and bonds, life insurance and to sometimes a family business. A corporate executor through years of experience has the expertise to manage these assets or in the case of a family business has the network available to help.
• . As in the Poem, the executor must be totally unbiased in decision making and providing requested information. This is probably the most difficult area for an individual executor to navigate through.
• An executor should only be focused on administering the estate and should be available when a beneficiary has a question. An individual executor may have a job and family that requires his or her full attention. Working with a corporate executor in a co-capacity allows the individual executor to attend to job or family needs while the corporate executor is administering to the estate. When decisions are required the individual executor is no more than a phone call away.
• When you name an individual executor there is no guarantee that they will be alive or have their mental faculties when called upon. A corporate executor will always be available when called upon.
• A corporate executor does not have to be bonded as they carry sufficient fiduciary insurance to protect the beneficiaries. An individual executor usually has to Bonded.
I can go on and on but you get the gist of this article, naming an individual is more often a burden than a benefit. A corporate fiduciary offers a commonsense alternative for the settlement of an estate.