William Lee Sefton, CPAAmerica's Most Outspoken Non-Attorney Living Trust Advocate...
Executors Beware of the Gotchas

Paid for by the Estate and/or Trust, Bill, with his extensive accounting background, is a proven resource for Executors and Successor Trustees, helping them settle Estates and Trusts as quickly as possible.

FLAT FEE : To encourage communication and a free-flowing dialogue that is often hampered by heavy hourly rates that discourage communication, Bill charges a flat fee. How much? That depends; but, the answer to the question is just an email or phone call away.

Hourly rates tend to encourage the professional to drag out the project, while Bill's Flat Fee encourages Bill to complete the project as quickly as possible.

The important factor:  Bill's fee is paid for the my Estate and/or Trust, as authorized by the Executor.

Several thoughts come to mind:

1.  Most Executors, once they have served as an Executor, will never do it a second time.   

2.  Attorneys make great architects; but, many are not not known for their paperwork/accounting skills, like my father and step-father - both accomplished attorneys - who, well out of respect for both, I will leave that conversation alone. 

       I like this word picture:  The attorney is the surgeon, while Bill is the pre-op nurse and the post-op nurse.

3.  With his core training in auditing financial records, Bill is well suited to finding the assets and managing the paperwork blizzard.

4.  Financial institutions are often not 'executor-friendly;' perhaps, because they know that their customer has died and the beneficiaries have their own ideas about money and what to do with it.

5.  The real and emotional stress can be horrendous, often with beneficiaries wanting their money now - and often  wanting more than the deceased allocated to them.

6.  The personal financial cost can be a significant drain on the executor's pocket book; but, it doesn't have to be that way.

     Not to mention, the executor's personal legal liability exposure can be significant.

7.  Bill has personal experience:  He was once an Executor; and, had to have one attorney represent the Trust, another attorney to help with mitigating the estate tax, and a 3rd attorney to represent Bill as the Executor.

8.  We know of a case where a beneficiary hired an opportunistic attorney to 'attack' the deceased's wishes, forcing the Executor to hire an attorney to protect himself, while the Estate and Trust had it's own attorney who represented the Trust and Estate.  Who paid for all of these attorneys?  Bill protected the Executor so that the Executor was not personally out-of-pocket.

9.  Bill, as a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) can practice anywhere in the United States; attorneys are licensed on a state-by-state basis.

10.  With the internet, Bill can help anywhere in the United States.

11.  As often happens, Bill has a solution; and, like a good shepherd, helps protect the sheep from the one lone wolf that was pestering the flock.

12.  Best known for his team-player approach, and being conversant in legal matters, financial matters, investment matters, to name just a few, he makes the Executor's life much easier as he coordinates the existing advisers.

Bill's Priorities:

Priority One:  Protect and Insulate the Executor.

Priority Two:  Respect and honor the wishes of the deceased.

Priority Three:  Distribute as much money as quickly as possible to the designated beneficiaries.