1. Money
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

How to Choose a Personal Representative

Look for Loyalty, Trust and Common Sense

By

Serving as a "Personal Representative" or "Executor" is a huge responsibility and time consuming burden, but with the help of your estate planning attorney you should be able to choose the right person or institution for the job. Here are the qualities you should look for in your Personal Representative:

Extremely loyal and fair

Dick Luria/Photodisc/Getty Images
Your Personal Representative will need to be loyal to your beneficiaries and fair in the treatment of multiple beneficiaries in order to protect all of their interests during the course of the probate administration.

Extremely trustworthy

Tim McCaig/E+/Getty Images
Your Personal Representative will need to be trusted with large sums of immediately available cash and other property and capable of investing and selling all of these assets wisely.

Practical

Jeffrey Coolidge/Stone/Getty Images
Your Personal Representative will need to have common sense and make practical decisions while administering your estate until it can be turned over to your beneficiaries.

Organized

Your Personal Representative will need to be organized so that the estate checking account will balance and bills, invoices, statements and various other backup documents can be located quickly.

Tough

Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Your Personal Representative will need to have a thick skin to be able to deal with greedy beneficiaries who want their inheritance right way; the vast amounts of red tape that financial institutions, the probate court, and the government will throw their way; and unforeseen circumstances around every corner.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.