When you’re instructed to select a fiduciary, you may find the decision difficult. Whom do you choose? Would your spouse be the best individual or a friend? Some individuals opt for a third party, such as an institution, to manage their estate rather than selecting a family member. This decision carries numerous advantages and disadvantages – all of which should be considered.
An institutional fiduciary brings your estate a level of expertise that a family member or friend won’t have. These companies have years of experience dealing with estate plans, administration, trusts and assets.
The institution doesn’t benefit from your estate and they don’t have personal relationships with you or your beneficiaries. This offers a level of neutrality that you cannot get with a family member. Since your institution won’t be biased, you’ll know that your estate will be managed in accordance with state laws and your will.
Institutions have the resources to manage your estate, handle creditors and pay taxes. You don’t have to appoint numerous people to manage one estate if you use an institution. At the same time, institutions function by their own protocols. These protocols can be rather rigid, especially when your institution is forced to represent your estate in court.
An institutional fiduciary will cost a lot of money. They cost more than an individual, including an individual working with your estate attorney. But, in some cases, the benefits can outweigh the costs, especially if you have a large or problematic estate.