Personal representatives play a key role in the estate planning process. You will need to choose an executor to carry out the provisions in your will, as well as name a power of attorney, trustee, and other agents to represent you.
When it comes to selecting a personal representative, you must consider the decision carefully. This person will have authority over financial and medical matters, so they must exhibit responsibility and attention to detail. Here are a few tips to help you decide.
Look beyond your loved ones
Many people pick family members or close friends to act as their representatives when it comes to estate planning. While this is perfectly acceptable, you can also select professionals like a fiduciary. These people will make decisions in your best interests and will not let emotions guide them. A professional is a good selection for younger estate planners or those who lack acceptable representatives in their lives.
Consider the person’s location
The person you choose must be trustworthy and willing to dedicate time to the estate planning process. However, they must also live in proximity to you in case you need them urgently. For instance, if you experience a serious accident and can no longer make decisions related to your finances or health, your representative must be available immediately to lend a hand.
Do not choose more than one person
Co-agents do make sense in some situations, but keep in mind that naming more than one representative can complicate matters. For instance, if the people you select are at odds when it comes to estate planning decisions, they will be unable to carry out their duties effectively. Disagreements can cause decisions to drag on, which means your estate will lose money to cover administrative costs.
Once you make your decision, be sure to speak with the person you have selected as soon as possible. Even if they are fully qualified, they must be fully willing to carry out their essential duties.