I would like to remove my present executor and set up a new one for my trust, but prefer not to have another individual person. What are sources for finding some kind of institutional rather than a personal executor? How do I show the installation of a new one?
My will and trust are properly set up; no changes required. However, I may want to drop one or two recipients. Does this need to go through my lawyer or can I simply write and attach new instructions to the will?
A: If your preference is to have an institutional executor rather than an individual, I suggest that you first start with the attorney who prepared your estate planning documents. He or she is most familiar with your estate and can make a recommendation appropriate to your needs.
You could also check with your financial institution to determine if it has a trust department. Be aware, however, that most trust departments require an estate to have a minimum value in assets, perhaps $1 million, before it will accept appointment as your executor.
You might also consider nominating a licensed professional fiduciary as executor if your goal is to select someone who is experienced in the area of estate management and is not a family member or close friend. A licensed professional fiduciary is required to complete and maintain minimum education requirements and undergo a criminal background check through the state Department of Justice. You can obtain names of licensed professional fiduciaries from the state Department of Consumer Affairs and its Professional Fiduciaries Bureau.
If the only change to your will is to name a new executor, you can do this through a codicil to your present will. Although there is nothing preventing you from creating a handwritten codicil, there are certain requirements for such a document to be effective. A codicil is a sufficiently important legal document that the assistance of an attorney is recommended to ensure that it complies with the legal formalities.