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Selecting a Personal Representative

Assets and property often come to the mind when thinking about a will. But there is more to a will than simply determining who gets what. Although a will does outline where and to whom assets are to be distributed; a will also states who will act as personal representative. The personal representative has an important role to play in the operation of a will.

When a person passes away, their will is filed at the local county courthouse and the probate process is begun with what is called a Petition. Once some procedural issues are addressed, the personal representative will be named by a district judge. The personal representative will have authority to act on behalf of the estate. With the assistance of an attorney, the personal representative will be responsible for completing the probate process.

The selection of a personal representative is an important decision. You should select someone that is trustworthy and able to manage the estate’s assets. A well-constructed will often names a backup personal representative to serve if the named personal representative is unable or unwilling to serve.

Whether you are considering a will or other estate planning documents or you have been named as a personal representative, the attorneys at Elwell & Spain can help walk you through the process.