Originally Posted by brokrken
You could let Vanguard or some other fiduciary be the executor.
No. Executor is a totally different thing than trustee. In the event a bank was named both as executor and trustee, the tasks would be handled by separate departments. I would be very surprised if VG, Schwab, or Fido would agree to be an estate executor for anyone. Early in this thread the OP seemed a bit uncertain on the two functions, but I think he's clear now.
Originally Posted by rose
If your niece inherits all or part of your estate and then died (i.e. car accident) your sister could still end up with your money, right? Unless the niece had a will. Also if your niece would die before she reached the age to inherit some portions of your money, would the balance in your estate go to the charities? It is complicated. I have similar issues so am following your thread with interest.
The OP is setting up a testamentary trust for the neice. In the trust, the grantor has total control and can specify in detail what happens if the beneficiary dies. He could give the trust assets to charity, or even put his sister in the neice's shoes as beneficiary. Really, it's not complicated with the guidance of a good trusts & estates attorney.
Probably unnecessary, but the trust could require that the niece have a will prior to receiving any disbursements.
Absent a trust, it's a mess. In addition to the risks you mention, there are others like bankruptcy, judgments, divorces, niece dying intestate with minor children, ... The list goes on and on.