How to Pick a Personal Representative for Your Will
Estate Planning Lawyer
It can be scary to think about who will take care of your family and your assets after your death. That is why picking the right personal representative for your Will can be so important. The personal representative (also known as an executor) is the person you will name in your Will to administer your estate after your death. You’ll want someone you can trust to follow out your wishes and obey the laws of your state. Here are a few things to keep in mind when picking the personal representative that is right for you:
A family member, whether it be a spouse, child, or parent, is often the first and most obvious choice. These people probably know you best. They are more likely to know what sort of accounts and assets you hold. They are also more likely to know your wishes. Just be sure to take into account that person’s age and health, you want them to be alive to administer your estate upon your death.
When naming a personal representative, you’ll want to choose someone you know to be responsible, stable, trustworthy, and thorough. Pick someone who is timely and able to meet deadlines. This person will be responsible for handling the estate property and dealing with the court.
It is often recommended that your personal representative live in the same state as you. Some states even prohibit residents of other states from serving as personal representative. So, if all your friends and family live far away, you may want to consider the next option.
Third-party institutions, like a bank, law firm, or professional fiduciary company are experts in dealing with estates. If you don’t have a relative or friend who lives in the same state, or that you feel comfortable handling your estate, then this is a good option for you. Most third-party personal representatives will administer your estate at a fee set by the state.
Before you assume that your spouse, children, or friends will serve as personal representative, be sure to ask for them first. You should always obtain that person’s permission. You may even want to inform them of what the job entails, and see if they feel up to the task. Make sure you notify them on the important details of your estate plan, including financial information and the location where the Will is kept. You can even provide them with a copy of the Will before your death, so that they’ll be best prepared when the day comes.
If you are interested in creating an estate plan, or have more questions about naming a personal representative, call a law firm. An experienced estate planning lawyer Phoenix, AZ trusts can answer any question you may have.
Thanks to Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insight into estate planning and how to pick a personal representative.