A Personal Representative is someone appointed by law to oversee the execution of your will once it has been accepted for probate. They will be in charge of numerous tasks including closing your accounts, gathering and distributing your assets, selling off your property, paying creditors, and reviewing your medical records. Essentially, your Personal Representative will “step into your shoes” to make the decisions you used to do but are no longer able.
Due to the level of responsibility that comes with the role, there are several questions you should consider before naming a Personal Representative in your will.
Are they legally qualified?
Though it may seem obvious, minors and individuals who are non-U.S. citizens living outside of the country cannot serve as Personal Representatives. Even if someone is 18, you should make sure they are ready to handle the responsibility should they need to step into the role sooner than later. Likewise, former felons are almost always disqualified from serving as Personal Representatives.
Are they able and willing to serve?
Probate can be arduous and seeing the process through to the end requires hard work, time and patience. Consider their current and future circumstances- someone with health issues, several young children, or who consistently works overtime may not be capable of serving as your Personal Representative.
Are they financially responsible?
Your Personal Representative will be responsible for locating, collecting, and taking physical possession of your assets as well as other financial responsibilities. Therefore, you should choose someone in good financial standing with a broad understanding of financial matters.
Are they trustworthy?
As the person appointed to handle your assets and carry out your wishes, your Personal Representative should be someone with integrity and good moral standing. If you struggle to find someone you trust, consider a professional Personal Representative like an attorney, accountant, or bank.
Kendal Law Group is available to handle all of your estate planning needs. Contact us for a consultation today!