After your death, your estate may enter probate, administering your assets based on the law and your wishes documented in your will or other legal documents. As the process begins, the court will appoint someone as your estate’s representative or executor. This person will complete all the necessary tasks, such as organizing assets and paying debts.
The personal representative can be someone close to you, such as your surviving spouse, kids and other family members. If you did not name an executor in your will, the court chooses the person for you. They will select an individual who meets the following conditions:
- Must reside within the state, potentially your next of kin or close relative
- Be at least 18 years old
- Has the physical and mental capacity to complete duties
- Does not have any felonies on their criminal record
- Has no complaints about taking on the role
Most of the time, the court assigns someone in your family to fill this role. The selection process can be more difficult if there is any reason for your legal heirs to disapprove of the court’s appointment. Some banks and financial institutions can also serve as executors if deemed qualified.
Being the personal representative is a huge responsibility
Aside from managing your estate, the representative must also complete tax requirements while consistently updating the legal heirs. The duties that come with the role are often overwhelming, taking over a significant amount of their time.
Your representative should also have an attorney to help address legal concerns and roadblocks that could hinder the administration process. All the steps and paperwork may seem tedious, but they are necessary to ensure your estate is handled correctly in compliance with state law.