Most people think about wills and possibly trusts when they think about their estate plan. There’s much more that you need to think about when you’re getting your estate plan together, though. One of the things that you have to decide is who you will name as your personal representative.
The personal representative is the person who will make sure that your estate plan is followed. They take care of things like filing the final income tax return for the estate and paying bills that are the estate’s duty to pay. They also find assets and heirs to ensure that your wishes come to fruition.
Who should be your personal representative?
While you might be tempted to name a close relative as your personal representative, you might need to think again about that decision. Your loved one might be emotional after your loss. It might be too much stress on them to act as your personal representative while they’re trying to heal from your passing.
The person you choose should be someone you can trust. They must be able to follow your wishes without letting their own feelings get in the way. They should also be responsible with money and assets since they will control everything in your estate until the estate is closed.
Getting your estate plan in order is one way to help ease the stress your family members will face when you pass away. Ensuring that you have a personal representative who can handle the duties associated with your estate keeps everything in order so your loved ones can focus on grieving. Remember to review your entire estate plan, including the person you named as your personal representative, periodically so you can ensure it still reflects your wishes.