Who Should I Appoint as My Executor?

A Personal Representative, formerly known as an Executor, is the individual you appoint to administer your estate when you die. He or she will be responsible for administering your estate, paying your outstanding debts, and distributing your property according to your wishes. The person you select should be someone you trust and someone you are confident will carry out your final requests. There are a number of things you should consider when appointing your Personal Representative.

Usually, people pick their spouse or an adult child or sibling as their Personal Representative. If this is the route you are considering, remember to consider whether the appointment of one child or sibling will put a strain on any other family relationships.

It is also important to pick a Personal Representative who is capable of handling financial matters and maintaining detailed records; and they have to have a thick skin. Even the most harmonious of families experience some friction in administration of an estate. If a person is incredibly busy, they might not be the best choice as administering an estate generally takes a substantial amount of time.

You should always consider alternate Personal Representatives in case the initial person is unable or refuses to accept the position. Finally, let the individual know you have chosen them so they have a chance to let you know whether they are up for the task. You should also review your decision periodically to make sure your choice remains a wise one. We had a client some years ago who named a favorite brother. By the time the person died, the brother had become a drug addict and ruined his life. At that point it was a very bad choice.

There is not a perfect description of Personal Representative qualities, because your personal circumstances will determine the suitability and choice of an individual. Generally, though, your Personal Representative should be someone who is capable of managing your estate and has a good understanding of your affairs. You should discuss your choices with a qualified estate planning attorney so that you pick the right person for your circumstances.

The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.