As you create your estate plan, it is important to choose the right people to administer your estate after you die. The person in charge of this responsibility is known as a personal representative. Picking the right person for this role can help ensure a smooth and efficient estate administration.
7 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Personal Representative
Before selecting your personal representative, consider the following:
- Is this person responsible? The responsibilities of a personal representative are numerous. It is crucial to select someone who takes the role seriously.
- Is this person available for the tasks at hand? Administering an estate takes a great deal of time and effort. It is important to choose someone who has the time and resources to be able to fulfill the duties of the role adequately and efficiently. It is also important to consider whether the person you have in mind lives locally or far away, as a more distant personal representative may find himself less available to fulfill the duties of the role.
- Is this person willing to ask for help when needed? Personal representatives are entitled to seek guidance from experienced professionals, such as attorneys, accountants, and investment advisors.
- Is this person familiar with your goals and wishes? In some cases, your personal representative may need to exercise discretion. Therefore, it is important that you choose someone who understands what you want.
- Does this person have a relationship with your beneficiaries? It is often helpful to the estate administration process to choose someone who has a good relationship with your loved ones.
- Is this person a good communicator? One important aspect of any estate administration is good communication between the personal representative and the beneficiaries and heirs of the estate. Choosing a personal representative who will communicate clearly, promptly, and effectively can help minimize possible disputes.
- Is this person willing to serve in the role? While you may have the perfect individual in mind, it is important to note that there is no requirement that he or she accept the appointment. If you choose someone you think would make an excellent personal representative but ultimately declines to serve in the role, your goals and wishes may not be accomplished. Therefore, it is best to determine promptly whether the person you have in mind is willing to serve.
If you need assistance choosing the right person to serve as your personal representative, we are here to help. We can be reached at our toll free number, (714) 459-5481.