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What details should you weigh when selecting your estate’s personal representative?

You must appoint someone to administer your estate to act as your personal representative or executor after you’re gone when you draft your will. Selecting the right person for that role can prove challenging.

There are a few important attributes that you should look for any prospective personal representative candidates to have before appointing them to this role. 

Choose someone you trust

Any candidate that you appoint as a personal representative of your estate should be trustworthy. You’ll need to feel confident in knowing that they’ll be able to see the probate process through from start to finish. A personal representative’s many responsibilities may include:

  • Selling your property
  • Filing lawsuits on your behalf
  • Paying creditors
  • Distributing assets
  • Reviewing medical records

How well your appointed representative handles these responsibilities may impact how much your loved ones receive at the conclusion of your estate.

Pick someone who is financially prudent

Ideally, you’ll want any personal representative that you choose to have a good credit history and capable of being bonded. A heavy load of debt, a history of defaults on their bills and lawsuits over their debts can disqualify someone from being bonded.

Select someone younger

Any person you select as your personal representative should be significantly younger than you, so you don’t have to worry about them predeceasing you. You would have to reappoint a new personal representative if that were to happen. (Another solution is to name alternate executors, just in case your first choice dies before you.)

Guidance in selecting a personal representative

Choosing a personal representative may be challenging. A poor choice can result in many problems for the loved ones you leave behind, though. An attorney can aid you in vetting individuals for this role and explain all of your legal options.