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Old 02-13-2012, 09:17 PM   #21
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The only experience I can site was my grandparents trust, which the bank ran and also acted as executor of the estate back in 1972, and that seemed to go well. They were the trustee before my grandmothers death, and found a good nursing home for her, as well as helped sell her house. But then that bank has since been merged out of existence. One might look for a community bank rather than a TBTF national institution where the trust department could be on the other side of the country.

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Old 02-14-2012, 11:27 PM   #22
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I thought I'd update my progress on this issue.
I started out planning on replacing our executor with a non-human (because I didn't want to burden the executor after what we've all just gone through being executors), but after wrestling with the issue, and reading all your posts (what a good discussion - thanks!) I'm sneaking up on a different solution.
I think I'm going to keep the existing executor as first choice, but have a friend as an alternate executor in case the first refuses. I was surprised that my friend was willing without hesitation to be our (alternate) executor. Her logic, "I don't think you are going to die." She's an optimist, and a bit older than me.
It would be bad luck at this stage for it to fall on her. Actuarial tables would have DH and me live for quite awhile yet, but of course all it would take is one SUV driver talking on a cell phone.
But to reduce the burden on the executor we plan to specify what "reasonable compensation" for the executor is. We're struggling with what number to specify. When we told our lawyer our proposed number ($20,000), his eyebrows raised, but he is probably judging our net worth by our clothing and grooming, which is not something we spend money on.
I don't know what a reasonable number is, but I don't know if I'd choose to be an executor at this point in my life for that little money. It's a lot of money, but it's a lot of emotion and a lot of time. A quickie search showed that California (not where we are) says 1.5 to 2% of the value of the estate is reasonable compensation for an executor. Anybody have any input on this?
I figure if I don't specify it, the executor would not pay themselves enough, or the other beneficiaries might gripe.
This will not be a perfect will, but it will be a huge improvement over the old one, and maybe we won't wait more than 15 years to make the next one. Things change.

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Old 02-15-2012, 04:53 AM   #23
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My executor is my closest friend, and I have 5% as his compensation. He's not aware of that, of course, but I felt it was a fair amount.
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Old 02-15-2012, 06:41 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by james7 View Post
If you curently find such an individual, that is an attorney, a CPA, or a financial planner, they should be involved in a practice that will continue even after they are dead and gone. The professionals in that practice will continue the practice for that deceased professional and will execute the wills and trusts in their files as they come due.
In that situation, I would say that the practice would be considered an "institution", since it would expected to survive over multiple generations, even though it may be absorbed by another firm.
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Old 02-15-2012, 04:21 PM   #25
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Glad to see this thread, thanks.
After years of having my younger brother and my wife's older brother as executors, I currently have Fidelity and my younger brother as co-executors of my trust and the wife (soon to be former wife) has her younger sister as her executor. Lots of changes over the last year. But we discussed this topic recently and neither of us are comfortable. So, thanks for the topic.

We both now feel like we do not have anyone that we trust completely and for differing reasons, either greed or incapacity to perform.

BUT, my reasoning behind selecting Fidelity was that a financial institution will "toe the line to prudent man" and force that onto the co-executor.

Does that sound like sound reasoning?

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