Six things to think about when choosing a Personal Representative in your Will

Picking a personal Representative for your will

One of the most important decisions you will make when having your Will drafted is deciding who will serve as the Personal Representative. The Personal Representative is the person who is legally responsible for ensuring that a probate is opened, your assets are properly distributed pursuant to the terms of your Will, and that your estate is closed within the statutory time period. Obviously, there is a considerable amount of responsibility that accompanies acting as a PR. Below are a few considerations to keep in mind when making your decision.

  1. Think about the most responsible person you know. This may be a family member or a close friend. Ideally, this individual can handle basic financial matters and is organized enough to meet deadlines imposed by the court.
  2. Will your PR be around when you die? Choosing a PR who is your age or even a bit younger
    can be beneficial, especially as you get older.
  3. Location is important too. If your estate will need to be liquidated, i.e. assets sold or otherwise disposed of, consider someone who lives nearby in order to minimize their travel costs while arranging to sell your assets.
  4. While it may seem obvious, your Personal Representative must be eighteen years old.
  5. Serving as a Personal Representative can be stressful. Choosing someone who is mature and levelheaded will ensure that your probate is handled quickly and efficiently.
  6. Perhaps most importantly, you should ask if the individual(s) you have in mind are actually willing to serve as your Personal Representative. After all, the best candidate in the world won’t be of much use if they refuse your appointment.

With these considerations in mind you will be much better prepared when you meet with your estate planning attorney. Even after you’ve had your Will drafted or updated you should check in with your attorney every few years to make sure your choice of Personal Representative is still the best fit for you and your situation.