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

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. 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 Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.


  2. 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 http://www.sjfpc.com/estate_planning_drafting_wills_trusts.html. 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:
    http://www.sjfpc.com/estate_planning_for_aging_parents.html. 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 sjfpc@comcast.net , for more tax, estate and business articles visit his website www.sjfpc.com. and blog

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER 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 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


  3. 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 relationship by providing said information to you on this site. Nothing contained herein is intended to constitute, offer, induce, promise, or contract of any kind. The content provided is presented as a courtesy to be used only for informational purposes and is not represented to be error free. The Law Offices of John N. Kitta makes no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to its answer to inquiries, and such representations and warranties are being expressly disclaimed. Given limited facts, we are attempting to share relevant information concerning this area of the law as a public service.


  4. 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 response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.


  5. 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 relationship is created as a result of this response.

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