26 Mar How To Choose A Personal Representative
A personal representative, otherwise known as an executor, is the person responsible for handling your estate when you die. Handling an estate includes a variety of responsibilities, such as gathering and protecting the assets of the deceased and filing paperwork with the court. While no special skills are required to be a personal representative, choosing someone who fits the following criteria can help ensure a smoother probate process. Read on to discover what questions you should consider when choosing a personal representative.
Are they responsible?
When choosing a representative, it’s best to choose someone you know is responsible. Personal representatives are responsible for many tasks related to settling the deceased’s estate. This includes cataloging assets, settling debts and bills the deceased owed, and distributing property to heirs. Since the job comes with many responsibilities, you don’t want to choose someone who struggles to get things done. You need someone who is capable of keeping up with the work load and who is able to complete tasks in a timely manner. This will help to ensure your estate passes through probate smoothly.
How is their health?
The health of your personal representative is another factor to consider. You want to name someone who is in good health for two reasons:
- You need your representative to be healthy enough to complete all the required tasks.
- Naming a personal representative is only effective if they outlive you.
As previously discussed, representatives are responsible for many tasks. You want to choose someone who has the time and energy needed to get it all done. Additionally, you want to choose a representative in good health because naming a representative is only helpful if you precede them in death. If your representative dies before you, they’re not going to be around to shepherd your estate through the probate process. If your representative dies first, you need to update your documents and name a new person.
Are they impartial and thick-skinned?
Impartiality is an important characteristic for a personal representative to have. You want to choose a representative who is capable and comfortable with handing your final wishes. They also need to know you well enough to step in and make decisions on your behalf if needed. Additionally, distributing assets to beneficiaries is one of the tasks representatives are responsible for. The task will be easier on your representative if you’ve done some estate planning. However, even if you planned out in advance how you would like your assets distributed, there’s no guarantee things will go smoothly. This could cause your representative to deal with backlash from angry heirs. For this reason, you want your representative to not only be impartial, but thick-skinned as well.
Do you know all your options?
When it comes to choosing a personal representative, you have many options. You can choose a close friend, co-worker, or family member. Additionally, you can name more than one person and have co-representatives. There are benefits and drawbacks to each choice, which is why you should contact an estate planning attorney for advice.
How Can Boyum Law Firm help you?
Boyum Law Firm can help you and your family create estate planning documents and choose a personal representative. As an estate planning, probate, and Medicaid planning law firm, we can also help loved ones through the probate process. To contact Boyum Law Firm, click here.