It’s hard to think about putting together an estate plan. One of the most important things – once you take that momentous step – is choosing the right personal representative.
The term “personal representative” sounds fairly simple. However, it’s just not that easy. Your cousin Freddie might be a great guy to play softball with, but can he be trusted to settle your estate after you’re gone?
While you search your contacts list to find the right person to serve, you might think about the following qualities:
On the Spot
A personal representative starts acting the minute they are appointed by the court, if not before. You need someone who is available and accessible. Before adding someone’s name to your Will, make sure they are willing to serve also.
Rules with a Velvet Glove
Creditors and beneficiaries alike may want their money asap. Your personal representative will have to be firm, but patient. Their focus needs to stay on your estate and your heirs.
A personal representative gathers estate assets and protects them. It may be necessary to have property appraised or even managed during probate. So, your personal representative should be someone who understands at least the basics.
Trusted to Handle Your Stuff
Personal representatives are fiduciaries, which means they are trusted to handle property for the benefit of another person. In this case, that’s your heirs. Pick someone who will carry out your final wishes, keeping your family’s best interests in mind.
Awesome Organizational Skills
Locating and managing estate assets is not easy! Your personal representative needs to someone who will find and hold your property, meet deadlines, and stay on top of paperwork.
A Diplomatic Frame of Mind
The person you choose will have to deal with stressed out family members and impatient creditors. Conflict resolutions skills are a real plus!
It’s Only Part of Your Estate Plan.
You’ll need to write the Will and choose your personal representative, of course. But there’s more to an estate plan that the Will. Talk to a qualified Virginia estate planning attorney to learn more.
Let the attorneys at the Dillon Law Group, PLC, help you. Call us at 757-962-4796 to schedule an appointment or use our Contact Form. We assist clients in Virginia Beach, Newport News, and surrounding areas.