Making a simple will includes choosing the right representative

In most estate planning situations in Texas and elsewhere, a corporate fiduciary, such as a banking institution, will not be appointed as the representative or trustee in the will or living trust documents because that often proves to be an extraordinary and unnecessary expense. In the average decedent's estate, a family member or trusted friend is appointed in the simple will as the personal representative of the estate. As discussed previously, the broad functions of the representative are to locate and collect the assets, pay the taxes, administrative expenses and bills, and then make final net distribution of the estate residue to the beneficiaries.

An estate may be administered and completed within six to 18 months, on the average. The family member or other trusted appointee will work closely with the estate attorney to administer and complete the estate, usually in a very timely manner. It is important to all of the participants, including the beneficiaries, to have a final net distribution and permanent closure to the matter quickly and effectively.  

However, there are occasions where the maker of the will or trust may prefer to appoint a financial institution to take care of the funds over a long period of time or even for successive family members. Where there is a particularly large fund that will continue to be administered on behalf of one or more designated beneficiaries, it may be preferable to have an institution at the helm. That is mainly because an institutional representative has the benefit of being in existence perpetually.

The institution will not die or get stretched too thin by the complexities of an estate fund that will last for a long time or indefinitely into the foreseeable future. An individual appointed in a simple will in Texas or elsewhere, on the other hand, may in some instances be overwhelmed with the long-term aspects of a complex financial management task. In those instances, it may be beneficial for the testator to discuss with estate planning counsel the option of appointing a financial institution as the personal representative.

Source:, "When Appointing A Corporate Fiduciary May Be Best For An Estate Plan", Christopher M. Kavanaugh, Nov. 7, 2015

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