Estate planning is the process by which you make decisions concerning the disposal of your estate after your death. Many people think that they can wait until they are much older to begin estate planning. However, you should begin it as soon as you acquire property, savings, or have children. Even if you don’t have much at the moment, choosing the right personal representative and initiating the process is important. It can always be amended and updated later on.

What They Do

A personal representative can also be called an executor or administrator. A personal representative will handle your probate assets. Some assets like life insurance with a named beneficiary can pass outside probate. The representative will also need to assess the values of your probate assets at the date of death. The definition of a probate asset can change based on your circumstances but it often includes things like real estate and business holdings.

The representative will also obtain date of death values for your belongings. They’ll also handle any outstanding debts or taxes from these assets. They’ll deal with your other debts, including filing your final tax returns. Lastly, the representative will handle the expenses of running your estate and execute your final will. Choosing the right person for this time-consuming and incredibly important task can be difficult.

Choosing a Representative

You can often hire a professional to be your personal representative, but many people choose someone they trust. Your estate planning attorney can help you determine who would be the best choice to be your Personal Representative. The person should be someone you trust and who can dedicate the amount of time required by the project.

A great deal of the work of being an executor will have to be accomplished face to face. There are visits to different government offices and agencies, especially if your estate is large and/or complicated. That means that the person you choose should be physically near your location or at least capable of getting there quickly.

Someone with some legal experience could be a bonus as well. The Personal Representative can hire an attorney but having an executor who understands the legal ramifications of certain actions is beneficial.

Most importantly, you need to pick someone who is reliable. This should be someone you know from a personal or a professional relationship. They need to be trustworthy with your money and your belongings.

Have questions about choosing a personal representative? Call Boise estate planning attorneys at McCool Law today to schedule your initial consultation.