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Personal Representative/Executor

How To Choose A Personal Representative

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There are many things to consider when choosing a Personal Representative. For example:

  • Is the person capable of handling the responsibilities described above ("What Does A Personal Representative Do?")? If not, is he or she capable of hiring appropriate people to handle those responsibilities? To then oversee that person's work? 
  • Does the person have the qualities described in Qualities To Look For In A Personal Representative.

Do you want to name one person or would you prefer two people to act as Co-Personal Representatives? 

  • If you name more than one person as Personal Representative, keep in mind that they may disagree about some decisions. If the matters over which they have discretion are important to you, consider providing guidelines to help them make their decision. Also provide a mechanism to break a tie. For instance, you could name a third party to make the decision in the event of a stalemate. Or you could provide that in certain matters, the vote of one person controls. In other matters, the vote of the other person or entity controls.
  • If your estate is large or complicated, consider appointing a bank or other institution to act as a Co-Personal Representative together with an individual or individuals of your choice.


For safety, your Will should include a successor Personal Representative - someone to take over as Personal Representative in case any person you name as Personal Representative dies before you, is unwilling or unable to serve, or decides to stop serving as Personal Representative. Be sure it is clear that the person is to be an alternate rather than a co-Personal Representative if that is your desire.

In case it helps, people often look to their spouse, significant other, or their child with the most legal or business savvy to fill the role of Personal Representative.

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