Does it make sense to name your financial planner as executor of the will and financial power of attorney?

Asked almost 2 years ago - San Jose, CA

My parents' financial planner wants to be named as executor of the will and financial power of attorney. We are in California.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. John Noah Kitta


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . To me it doesn’t seem appropriate for your financial planner to serve as executor and financial power of attorney, although, it sounds lucrative for the financial planner.

    This participating Attorney does not warrant any information provided, nor are we creating an Attorney-Client... more
  2. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In this day and age of fraud and financial desperation, I would run from this man. This is a real problem. By the way, what do your parents want? A lot of financial planners are prohibited to serve like this. Call a place like Fidelity Investments or any other large firm and you will see that they have a policy against so serving. Do yourself a favor and get involved with your parents in a caring way.

    For more on estate planning and other issues, see Estate Planning Mistakes: 5 Not So Easy Pieces at Please hit the like button at the end of the article if you found it helpful.

    For more on talking with aging parents about this topic please read Estate Planning For Elderly Parents: Discussing Finances and Estate Planning with Your Aging Parents at the following link: Please hit the like button at the end of the article if you found it helpful.

    Hope this helps.

    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336, his email address is , for more tax, estate and business articles visit his website and blog

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia... more
  3. Janet Lee Brewer


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Fromm. In my experience most financial planners' broker-dealers prohibit them from acting as a trustee or executor in a client's estate.

    I'd be very wary of any financial planner who's lobbying for the job.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The... more
  4. Lee Leonard Kaster

    Contributor Level 8


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Fromm and Ms. Brewer. If this financial advisor is the one who is proposing to have your parents name him as executor & agent under the durable power of attorney, that is a huge red flag. Like Ms. Brewer pointed out, most broker-dealers prohibit their advisors from acting as an executor or successor trustee for their clients because it creates at least a potential conflict of interest. If your parents are looking for someone to act as executor and don't have a family member that they want to fill that role, they should consider naming a private professional fiduciary as executor (assuming the estate is large enough that a private professional fiduciary would take it on). Good luck!

    This response is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client... more
  5. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Maybe, if there is no one else who it makes sense to name. There are not enough facts to determine whether or not this is a good idea in your parents' case. The reason NOT to do it would be that the executor can charge a fee for his services. If this is a family member, they often do not charge. If there is no compelling reason to make the financial planner executor, I am not sure why they would want to do so, offhand.

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and... more

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