The personal representative of your estate (sometimes referred to as an executor) distributes your assets according to the terms of your last will and testament.

Most people nominate their personal representative in their will.

I often give clients the following advice when they’re considering who to choose for this role.

Tip 1: Choose Someone Who’s Already Named in the Will

It’s often best to choose a person who’s already named in your will as a devisee.

This cuts down on the number of people involved in the probate process (thereby making the proceedings quicker and less expensive) and it ensures the your will is probated in a timely manner.

A person who’s in line to inherit part of your estate is usually motivated to start the proceedings within the first year or so of the testator’s death.

Tip 2: Choose Someone with Business Savvy

In most cases your personal representative will simply hire an attorney to do most of the legal work involved in probating your estate.

Nevertheless,  some experience in either the financial or legal world would help your personal rep throughout the process as he or she deals with banks, insurance companies, and real estate agents.

Tip 3: Choose Someone Your Age or Younger

Your PR will be administering your estate after your death.

Therefore, it makes sense to nominate someone who’s likely both to outlive you and to be in good enough physical and mental health to distribute your assets.

Such a person, of course, would be at least your age or younger.  This is especially true if you’re currently 70 or older.

If you have any questions regarding estate planning, please contact me via email at