What are good qualities for a personal representative?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2023 | estate planning |

When people are creating a will in Illinois, there are many decisions they need to make. The main decision people need to make when creating a will is who will receive their property when they pass away. However, if people have young children, they will also need to choose who they want to be guardians of their children if they pass away while they are still minors. Another major decision people have to make, whether they have children or not, is who will be the personal representative of their estate.

Personal representatives are the people responsible for administering the estate. This is an important job and people should take their time deciding who they want to be the personal representative.

Important qualities of a personal representative

When making this decision people need to determine if their choice has the qualities to ensure they will be able to handle the responsibilities of the personal representative. When people are deciding, they should consider:

  • Whether the potential choice has the time to carry out their responsibilities of gathering the appropriate documentation, finding beneficiaries and creditors and other responsibilities
  • Whether they have the ability to handle beneficiaries and creditors with a level head
  • Do they have good organizational skills and will they be able to keep track of deadlines and keep accurate accounting?
  • Do they have a financial or legal background?
  • Do they have any financial problems themselves?

Once people find someone they would like to be their personal representative, they need to have an in-depth conversation with them. First, they need to make sure the person is willing to do it. If they agree to be the personal representative, they need to let them know where they will be able to find important documents that they will need for the probate process.

It is important that people in Illinois have wills. A will allows people to have control over who will receive their property after they pass away. They need to take time with their decisions for both property distribution and who they will have as their personal representative. Experienced attorneys understand how to draft a good will and may be a useful resource.