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Personal Representative/Executor

Discussions To Have With Your Personal Representative

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Whomever you choose to be your Personal Representative, make sure the person is willing to do the job. Before writing your Will:

  • Tell the person what you are thinking.
  • Ask if the person will serve.
  • Make sure she or he understands what will be involved.

Make sure your Personal Representative knows:

  • What is involved in general in acting as Personal Representative.
  • What will be involved in administering your estate. For example, that there may be property to sell, or a business to run.
  • Who is in charge of your funeral. If you've made arrangements, what they are, or where to find them.
  • What you want done with your assets while they're under the control of the Personal Representative. For instance, what you want sold, the best method for selling, and pitfalls to avoid.
  • The exact spot where your Will and other important personal documents are located. If with an attorney, provide contact information.  Reminder: do NOT put your will in a safe deposit box. Boxes can be difficult to access after death. 
  • Where to find a list of your assets and debts, as well as instructions for keeping things going. See Storing Your Will, Keeping A Document Inventory and List of Instructions.
  • Your passwords and access codes for email, social media and other online accounts, as well as for any cellphones or computers. Provide instructions about how to handle the accounts and devices.  NOTE: If you do not want to give the person all this information while you are alive, let him or her know where to find it.
  • What to do with items that are not specifically metioned in your will - such as recipes, photos and mementos.
  • If you have secrets, where they are hidden.
  • If you want beneficiaries to receive advances against their inheritance while the estate is in probate, what guidelines to use.

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