What Makes Someone a Good Personal Representative — and Why Do You Need One?
By: Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
October 29, 2020
Choosing a good personal representative, also known as an executor, is vitally important. But how do you find the right person for the role to ensure your wishes for your estate are fully carried out after you’re gone?
What makes a good personal representative? Many things! Here are a few of the characteristics you should look for in a personal representative so you can choose the best person to take your estate through the probate process.
What a Personal Representative Does
The person you select as your personal representative is in charge of a variety of tasks necessary to settle the affairs of an estate. It’s important to choose someone who you know can handle these duties:
The personal representative you choose will need to file all appropriate paperwork with the probate court in the county where property is owned or the deceased died. The personal representative determines what court documents are needed and where probate should be filed.
Creditors and beneficiaries must be notified during probate, and it is the responsibility of the personal representative to do so.
A personal representative also must determine what assets make up the probate estate.
Defending a Will
If a will is challenged, then the personal representative must secure appropriate legal representation.
Complying with Requirements
Personal representatives must also keep financial records and deal with all accounting issues, such as filing income tax returns and anything else required.
These are only a few of the duties a personal representative will need to handle, which is why it’s so crucial that the right person is chosen for the job.
Who Will Make a Good Personal Representative?
Many people want someone they trust to serve as a personal representative. That often means family members, business associates, and friends. However, just because someone is close to you does not mean that they will be well-suited for this position.
How do you know who would best be suited to this role? While it’s a personal choice, there are some characteristics that can help you determine who would make a good fit.
A personal representative should:
You need a trustworthy person who you know can be counted on to do their best for you and the beneficiaries of your estate.
Have Business or Investment Knowledge
This largely depends on the type of investments and properties that are a part of your estate, but understand that some knowledge is required in order to manage them. If you have a complex estate, then a personal representative with financial savvy is a good choice.
Many steps must be taken during the probate process. A person who can handle several different aspects of the estate while keeping the details in mind is essential.
Have the Ability to Master Complex Concepts
It’s vital for personal representatives to be able to grasp complex legal processes and rules as well as other technical details that can be involved in the probate process.
If you need help exploring more about choosing a personal representative for your estate, the attorneys at Haimo Law are happy to help.
Barry E. Haimo, Esq.
Strategic Planning With Purpose®
YOU ARE NOT OUR CLIENT UNLESS WE EXECUTE A WRITTEN AGREEMENT TO THAT EFFECT. MOREOVER, THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. EACH SITUATION IS HIGHLY FACT SPECIFIC AND EXCEPTIONS OFTEN EXIST TO GENERAL RULES. DO NOT RELY ON THIS INFORMATION, AS A CONSULTATION TO UNDERSTAND THE FACTS AND THE CLIENT’S NEEDS AND GOALS IS NECESSARY. ULTIMATELY WE MUST BE RETAINED TO PROVIDE LEGAL ADVICE AND REPRESENTATION. THIS INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AS A COURTESY AND, ACCORDINGLY, DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE.