Many families find it helpful for the bank to serve as the personal representative of a loved one’s estate. The complexities of probate and estate settlement can seem overwhelming, especially after the death of a family member, and the trust departments trained staff can handle the duties responsibly, keeping the heirs fully advised of each step taken. Here are some things to remember:
- The testator, the legal term for the person making the will, must specify his or her personal representative in the will. Therefore, you should discuss with your attorney whether to name the bank to serve as your executor.
- If appointed, the bank will handle the filing of the will with the probate court.
- If appointed, the bank will help the deceased’s family with identifying and protecting the estate’s property. The bank will prepare the estate inventory as required by the probate court.
- If appointed, the bank will pay the expenses of the estate, including the deceased’s unpaid debts, the costs of administering the estate and any taxes which may be due.
- The bank will distribute the estate property to the heirs as directed by the will.