The personal representative of an estate plays an integral role in the successful and smooth administration of a person’s estate after he or she has passed away. Some of the tasks of a personal representative include gathering and managing assets, notifying creditors, seeing to the payment of continuing expenses, and paying valid creditor claims as well as seeing to the proper distribution of estate assets to the appropriate heirs. A poorly chosen personal representative can throw a wrench into the entire process. This is why, when you are estate planning, you should take care to select an individual who is up to this important task. Let us take a look at some of the things you should consider when choosing a personal representative for your estate.
What to Consider in Choosing a Personal Representative for Your Estate
Think of people you hold to be trustworthy and responsible. These will be the people that could be prime candidates for the role of personal representative of your estate. In fact, it is the reason why many people end up choosing relatives for the role. Many of those in your inner family circle may have your deepest trust and also have a solid understanding of what your intentions are for your estate after you pass away. If you choose a family member, however, be sure to consider the potential for your selection to cause family conflict. To avoid contention among family members, some people choose to go outside the family and select a trusted friend instead. Emotions can run high after a person passes away and lead to some very unpleasant family discord.
The personal representative should also understand and be able to carry the responsibility of being in this important role. The administration of an estate can actually be quite time consuming. Your personal representative selection must understand that it can be a time commitment and an important one at that. The responsibility will be multifaceted and include filing reports with the court and handling financial aspects of the estate administration process. Beneficiaries and creditors of the estate will be waiting in the wings and the personal representative will have to provide them all with notice as well as working to help ensure every receives their proper portion of the estate.
Because of the rather complex nature of the personal representative role, having a person who is organized can be very beneficial. There is a list of responsibilities the personal representative will have to take care of including gathering and managing the estate assets, paying off valid creditor claims, and keeping the court apprised of estate administration tasks that are being seen to. Organization can be a critical element in helping to efficiently and effectively move the administration process along.
Before selecting a personal representative, you will also want to review your state’s laws regarding who can serve in this role. Sometimes, the personal representative must life in the same state unless he or she is a relative. There are also logistical reasons for thinking over the location of your personal representative. A personal representative from out of state may find handling your estate to be a strain if he or she lives too far away.
Estate Planning Attorney
At Verras Law, we are here to help you develop a strong estate plan and guide you through this process with trusted legal advice along the entire way. Contact Verras Law today.