Feb 11, 2014
Settling an Estate and How a Corporate Fiduciary Can Help
“We never thought this would happen in OUR family.”
This is a common quote of families who have lost a loved one and have begun the process of settling an estate. Once family members begin the process of settling an estate of their mother or father, many times they are confronted with a situation that is totally unplanned…a challenge of the will or worse the challenge of a family member. Once a patriarch or matriarch of a family passes away, children and other beneficiaries can take on a new attitude. This can include challenging a family member who is the named executor or even filing a lawsuit to challenge the will. This dilemma is seen frequently and can be very disturbing to all family members.
Situations like this can be avoided by naming a Corporate Fiduciary as executor over an estate or Trustee over any trusts that may be established under a will. Handling the settlement of an estate, no matter the size, requires experience, expertise and objectivity. In many family situations a named executor is a family member and the task of settling an estate is deemed an honor. This could not be further from the truth. Settling an estate requires time, knowledge and skills in a wide variety of legal, tax, accounting and asset management issues.
One critical problem that family members who are named executor over an estate is being able to remain objective. If family members are not working together, then all past family history can be played out in front of the world. Personal family interests can create conflict and emotions can run high. Using a Corporate Fiduciary can eliminate potential conflicts by working on facts and any governing law without family bias or emotions.