Folks who are interested in naming me as their professional executor ask how much it costs to get started. There is no cost! We’ll explain why, what you get, and what to expect.
It’s just a nomination
At this point, you are healthy and just being responsible by making your estate plan. When you name me as trustee in your trust or as executor in your will, it’s just a nomination; I haven’t done any work yet. Besides, you can always change your will and I may never become your executor or trustee, depending how you make your plan.
Not your estate planning lawyer
To be clear, I’m not your estate planning lawyer. I’ve done estate plans before, and I am very familiar with what needs to be done. Nowadays, I’ve narrowed down my expertise and I am focused on being the best possible executor or trustee after folks have passed. Some people ask if I can draft their wills or trusts anyway, and the answer is unfortunately no. I no longer have the software, fancy paper, etc. to do wills.
Consider it a good thing that I don’t split my time between preparing wills and acting as a professional executor. It means that I am dedicated to providing the best service as your executor.
Also, as an experienced executor, I know how things will happen at the end. When reading a will, I can foresee what issues will arise because of the way it is written. When you nominate me as your executor, I am happy to take a look at your will as a second set of eyes. Again, this review would be non-legal advice, because I am not your estate planning attorney. But, I will be the one to carry out your wishes. When reviewing your estate plan, I look for any red flags that may make my job harder as your executor. As a side note, we don’t usually find many red flags, because many people work with competent estate planning attorneys.
As we’ve discussed before, we offer complimentary annual check-ins. We do this to make sure I’m alive and you’re alive! It’s also useful to get to know each other over the years. You want an executor who is familiar with you and your wishes, based on more than just one meeting or phone call. As we talk, I might discover that you’ve grown distant from certain relatives or perhaps you made a new best friend later in life. These things could be useful when carrying out your will or even defending your estate plan.
Since I am not doing any work for your estate yet, we keep the calls brief. Sometimes it’s just an email. But it’s a good reminder for you to think about your plan at least once a year.
This is a common question that we get, but if you have any other questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments. To learn more about what I do as a professional executor, check out my book, “How to Hire a Professional Executor,” available on Amazon.
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