Ask Terry Questions Finding an Executor or Trustee

Finding an Executor or Trustee

By Terry Savage on July 03, 2019 | Financial Planning / Retirement

We are the youngest surviving members of a very small family. What do you recommend we do regarding the selection of an executor?

Terry Says

This is one of the most difficult questions to answer for those living alone, or with aging relatives.  My first bit of advice is to get a competent estate planning attorney to help you create an estate plan — preferably a Revocable Living Trust — and associated powers of attorney for healthcare, and a living will.  If  you develop a relationship with that attorney, perhaps he or she could serve as a co-trustee along with your youngest, most responsible relative.

If that’s impossible, you basically have two choices.  Many banks will act as trustee for an estate — but their fees can be high, and if your estate doesn’t run into the millions, you won’t get their best attention.  Recently, and in recognition of this need, there is a new designation:  “professional trustee.”   And they’ve created an organization to set standards and allow people to search for registered, and bonded, trustees.   That would be a good place to start your search for an independent trustee.  Their website is

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