The Professional Executor or Administrative Trustee: Providing Care and Support After Loss

Jan 22, 2019 | Estate Planning & Administration

Unfortunately, we will all eventually face the hardship that comes with losing a loved one. If you’ve ever served as the executor of a family member’s estate, you may also be familiar with the burden of responsibility that can accompany grief during this time. The combination of responsibilities and emotions can present unique challenges. Heirloom objects or personal items can further complicate matters for families, as the sentimental values of these items are often a great deal higher than their monetary values.

Cumberland Trust’s Estate and Post Mortem Trust Administration team takes the administrative and legal burden of an executor’s duties off the family. With Cumberland Trust serving as an unbiased, third-party executor, co-executor, agent for the executor, or trustee of administrative trusts, care and attention are a priority as we work to carry out the estate plan. Working with the family’s legal, financial, and tax advisors, we ensure that assets are collected and properly administered; any obligations are satisfied; and property is distributed to or for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

“Our team steps in to work alongside families who are often in an extremely vulnerable state due to the loss of a loved one,” said Rachel Fuqua Klages, Vice President and Director, Estate Administration at Cumberland Trust. “When Cumberland Trust serves as a third-party estate executor, we focus on the filing of taxes, securing and distributing complicated assets and tending to immediate needs so the family may focus on saying goodbye to their loved one. We’ve found, no matter the situation, the process is more peaceful for the family when a professional executor or administrator is used, rather than trying to go it alone.”

Cumberland Trust’s eight – person Estate and Post Mortem Trust Administration team strives to understand the unique circumstances of each family with whom they work and provide high level service and support to our clients.

For many families, naming a corporate executor is preferable to burdening a family member with the role. A corporate executor has the time and resources to devote to settling an estate, while a family member with other responsibilities may not. Often, having a neutral third-party executor also prevents disagreements and discord among family members during a time of bereavement when emotions and stress may be most profound.

When a family member passes away, Cumberland Trust’s Estate and Post Mortem Trust Administration team will:

  • Assist with needs and care of the surviving spouse, other loved ones and pets,
  • Secure real estate and protect assets,
  • Recover valuable documents,
  • Limit access to property and change locks, and
  • Identify heirs and beneficiaries.

The team carries out these tasks with care and compassion towards the decedent’s loved ones. Cumberland Trust remains an active part of the family’s team as the estate is fully settled and afterwards.

“When Cumberland Trust comes in to help a family manage an estate, it is always a team effort,” said Fuqua Klages. “We stay in close communication with family members, attorneys, financial advisors, and other interested parties to ensure that the individual’s legacy is preserved, and wishes are respected. Often, the regular communication about the estate’s progress that we provide, without the weight of its responsibility, is comforting for the family.”

With years of experience in estate and post-mortem trust administration, selecting Cumberland Trust to serve as an unbiased third-party executor, co-executor, agent for the executor, or trustee, makes sense for many families. When our team focuses on the administrative component of estate settlement, families can heal without unnecessary stress or unwanted tension. Instead, the family can focus on supporting one another and remembering an important life.