When you create an estate plan, you intend that your wishes will be carried out after your death by the person who is named as the personal representative in your will. There are several factors to consider when choosing this person.
Choosing a personal representative
First, it’s very important that the proposed personal representative understands what will be expected of them in that role. They will be responsible for representing your estate, paying any outstanding bills, communicating with your beneficiaries, distributing assets and keeping track of estate expenses.
The person you choose as the representative should be trustworthy because they will have access to your financial and personal information after your death and they have a responsibility to act in the best interest of your beneficiaries.
Depending on the complexity of your estate, it may be useful to choose a personal representative who is financially literate, meaning they understand the impact of financial decisions on your estate.
Appointing a family member, friend or professional
Many people choose a close friend or family member to act as the personal representative. This may be a spouse, an adult child, or a sibling. This person should be familiar with your wishes.
There are also entities that offer professional personal representative services, which you may choose if you believe there could be family disputes over the will. One benefit of this arrangement is that the personal representative is impartial.
Because your life circumstances and wishes can change over time, you may want to periodically review your personal