Part of completing your estate plan includes appointing a personal representative of your estate. The person in this role is responsible for the management of your estate upon your death. Your personal representative handles notifications to creditors, settlement of creditor accounts and fulfilling your final wishes. Personal representatives also manage the probate process.
There are qualities to look for that make a strong personal representative.
A reliable personal representative is one you trust to fulfill their obligations according to your wishes. Choose someone with a proven track record of completing tasks, even with delays. Remember that the probate process sometimes takes time to complete and the personal representative must follow through.
Some of your beneficiaries may disagree with the way that you want your estate distributed. The personal representative of your estate needs an air of authority to stand up and clearly defend your wishes, especially if someone contests the will.
Organization is key when handling any estate settlement. Creditor notifications, final statements and payments, court filings and other records can overwhelm a personal representative who lacks organizational skills. Choose someone who can keep everything in order.
Perhaps one of the most important traits to consider is capacity. A personal representative with too much on their plate is likely to let things slip through the cracks, even unintentionally. Choose a personal representative with the time and capacity to commit to the process.
These are important traits of a successful personal representative. Consider these points and any personally relevant factors as you make your choice for the personal representative of your estate.