Who should I choose as my Personal Representative or Trustee?

Whether you have a will-based estate plan or trust-based one choosing the right person who will be in charge of your assets when you are gone is sometimes a difficult decision for people.  Gone are the days when the oldest son is automatically chosen.  I’ve seen too many family fights occur simply because the wrong person is serving in this position.  You know your family and its particular politics best.

Blended families may want to utilize Co-Personal Representatives so that a child from each side is represented.  In some situations it is necessary to go to a neutral third party, like a neighbor, sibling, or professional.  Things to consider when choosing: 

  1. Are they fair? 
  2. Are they good communicators? 
  3. Are they able to take criticism and not let it bother them? 

Worry less about who is "local" and more about who you truly trust to get the job done.  Always remember to have plenty of contingency planning in case someone you choose dies, gets sick, or just doesn’t want to do it. 

Choose wisely and you will minimize family discord after you pass. 

-Kathryn Bedell, Esq.      


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