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Personal Representative/Executor

Does My Personal Representative Have To Be An Attorney?

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No. It could be helpful if your Personal Representative knows the law, but it's not necessary.

A Personal Representative can hire lawyers, accountants or other experts and pay them from the assets of your estate. These costs -- in addition to the Personal Representative's fees -- are a deductible expense for your estate.

If you do choose an attorney to act as your Personal Representative, check to see if she or he will charge one or two fees to serve as both Personal Representative and attorney. Although your Personal Representative and attorney serve different functions, in some states only one charge is allowed if an attorney fills both functions. Even if it is allowed, for the sake of your heirs, it is preferable to only have one fee.

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