When creating an estate plan, you need to pick a personal representative. They are the person who will execute your estate when you die. Other states call them an executor. They will carry out various administration tasks, such as putting your will through probate.
You should always name at least one backup personal representative. Otherwise, if the person you choose cannot do it, a court will decide on a replacement. They could choose someone you do not know.
Why are people unable to execute an estate?
There are several reasons why someone may be unable to execute an estate:
- They are dead: Anyone of any age can die when you least expect it.
- They are unwell: Executing an estate takes considerable effort. If the person is not well, the extra stress may harm their health. A mental illness such as dementia could make them legally incapable of performing the role.
- They no longer live close: Living out of the area does not preclude someone from executing a will. Yet it can be easier if they live close by. It allows them to pop in to see the attorney or carry out other small but necessary tasks.
- They do not have the time: Acting as a personal representative takes time, but an attorney can ease the burden. Their experience can help reduce the time taken and ensure it is done right the first time.
- They do not want to: People may change their minds for many reasons. They are entitled to refuse the role or resign after they have begun.
Hopefully, the person you choose as a personal representative can fulfill their commitment. Naming a couple of back-up options prepares for if they cannot.