Consider Non-Family Member for End-of-Life Agent

Consider Non-Family Member for End-of-Life Agent. A business person who can read my end-of-life wishes and carry them out.

By Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin

Q: I was wondering if you can help me? I thought you may know of a business firm, not an attorney or healthcare provider, that can act as my “end-of-life-agent”. I want to be prepared as I have no family to ask or friends young enough that I would trust. My attorney says that he can draw up trust documents, but he can’t be my “end-of-life” agent. It seems that no attorney can due to it being against their liability insurance. So what I’m looking for is a business person who can read my end-of-life wishes and carry them out. I need someone who agrees by contract to carry out my specific written wishes. Of course, when that is needed they will be compensated for this in my estate. Do you have any suggestions?

Consider Non-Family Member for End-of-Life Agent

A: There are trust companies out there that do what you are asking. These companies usually work with high or higher net worth people and if you fall into that category you can call on them to help you. 

For some people, they would prefer a neutral company to handle their affairs after they die. And, for these people, there are companies that can act as their estate settlement and wealth transfer advisors. For example, they can act as the successor trustee to a trust you might set up and thereafter proceed to follow your wishes relating to your estate plan after you die. 

You won’t have to deal with a particular person as the company will act as your trustee and whoever is assigned to your estate when you die would work to follow your estate plan. Perhaps a solution like that is what you need. We don’t make specific recommendations, but you can look for a bank or other financial institution in your area that has a trust and estate services department. You can talk to them and see if it’s right for you.

Having said that, if you don’t want or can’t spend the kind of money that some of these companies charge, you may find an estate planning firm that can work with you in taking care of your estate and to follow your wishes after you have passed. Other than these two solutions that come to our mind, we’d ask our readers to let us know what suggestions they would have for a person that might not have close relatives or friends that are in a position to help out many years down the road.

©2021 by Ilyce Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin.