Preparing a new estate plan, or revising an old one, requires you to make a lot of decisions. Who gets the family china? Who will serve as guardian of your minor children? Some of the most important decisions involve choosing people to act for you after you are gone. For example, choosing a personal representative is critical. Many people simply choose a close relative without thinking about whether they are up for the job. You might consider some of the following qualities when choosing your personal representative.
Detail-Oriented and Organized
A personal representative’s duties include:
- Locating and gathering all of the decedent’s assets;
- Protecting the decedent’s probate estate assets;
- Gathering claims against the decedent’s estate;
- Paying all valid claims against the estate; and
- Distributing remaining assets to the heirs.
No matter what size your estate will be, your personal representative will be ‘sweating the details.’ Choose someone who excels at this important skill.
Trustworthy and Honorable
Your personal representative will be handling your probate estate for the benefit of your loved ones. You need someone who takes the job seriously and can be trusted to deal honestly as your estate probate proceeds.
Personal representatives must perform their duties with the best interests of the beneficiaries in mind at all times. Will the person you choose be able to do that?
Patient and Diplomatic
While your estate is going through probate, your personal representative may have to deal with court officials, insurance companies, financial institutions, and realtors. That’s in addition to dealing with anxious family members. Sometimes, sadly, family members even fight over who gets what.
A personal representative has to be ready and able to deal with a lot of different personalities. Make sure you choose a personal representative who can be patient and diplomatic.
Make Sure Your Family Will Be Okay
Remember that choosing a personal representative does not just affect you. It also affects your heirs.
Attorney Bruce Adams is an Alabama attorney who knows how to listen to his client’s business concerns and provide actionable advice. Please contact Bruce at 256-237-3339 to set up an appointment. Our office is located in Anniston, Alabama, but we assist clients in surrounding communities like Gadsden, Hoover, Talladega, Vestavia Hills.