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How should you choose your personal representative?

| Oct 10, 2019 | Estate Planning |

Choosing a personal representative is an important part of creating a will. Whoever you choose will take on a major role in handling your affairs. You want to make sure the person you choose is willing and able to take on the responsibility to ensure that your estate is in good hands.

What is a personal representative?

A personal representative is an individual or third-party member who manages your estate after you pass. When you choose a personal representative, you ensure that your assets will be taken care of and your wishes will be carried out as smoothly as possible. There are many tasks that your representative might carry out, such as:

  • Taking inventory of your estate
  • Paying off your debts
  • Filing tax returns
  • Distributing your estate to your beneficiaries

Requirements of a personal representative

There are a few technical factors that you need to remember when selecting a representative. Florida law requires that your personal representative is either a resident of Florida or a close relative such as a spouse, sibling, parent or child. Your personal representative should also be over the age of 18 and cannot have any felonies on their record.

If you do not have a close family member who is willing or able to serve as your personal representative, you can also name a bank, attorney or financial advisor as your professional personal representative.

Choosing a personal representative

Most importantly, a personal representative should be someone you trust. You might also want to consider how comfortable they are with the above aspects of the process, such as filing paperwork and handling finances. Overall, an individual who is responsible, detail-oriented and trustworthy may be a good candidate for your personal representative.

Selecting a capable personal representative can help the process run smoothly and save your family a lot of stress. Be sure to communicate with your choice so that they know what to expect from you and from the process after you pass. The more you can prepare your representative, the easier the process can be for everyone involved.