The fiduciaries you appoint during the estate planning process have important, and sometimes challenging roles. The job of serving as an Executor or Trustee should go to someone you trust – not only in terms of that individual’s loyalty and intentions, but also in terms of his or her abilities. So, what happens if you have no friends or family members that you’re comfortable naming as your Executor or Trustee? One option is to name a bank or another institution to act in this capacity on behalf of your estate. Banks have trust departments that exist for the purpose of managing peoples’ estates. They’re full of skilled and experienced employees, they’re a neutral third party that won’t show favoritism to one heir over another, and beneficiaries might be more willing to accept the actions of a neutral bank than they would the actions of a family member or friend. The potential drawbacks? Banks and other institutions are just that…institutions. So, it may take longer for the wheels to turn on the administration of your estate, and banks charge a fee for serving in a fiduciary capacity. Plus, you may have a concern that your friendly small-town bank could be bought out by a large, national institution at some point in the future. Your estate planning attorney can help you work around this concern. If you have qualms about appointing a friend or family member to serve as a fiduciary, talk to your estate planning attorney. He or she can help you weigh the pros and cons of naming a bank instead.