One of the most critical decisions you’ll make in your estate planning is selecting a personal representative to manage the process of closing out your estate after you pass away. For most people, a close friend or family member comes to mind to serve in this role, but it is critical to be clear about the full complexity and scope of a personal representative’s obligations and duties.
Sometimes you might recognize that your estate is complex enough that there might be no one in your life to play this critical role or that it makes more sense to give it to a corporate personal representative. A personal representative’s full set of duties will vary based on the jurisdiction in which you live and the complexity of your estate plan and assets, but in general they will handle the navigation of probate matters, collect and value your assets and file your tax returns.
In some more complex situations, they might also be responsible for managing your assets. You’re looking for skills, such as independence and impartiality, continuity and expertise and family unity. It is possible that naming one family member to the role of personal representative, for example, could cause unnecessary conflict or even delays in the probate process. Decisions made by a personal representative are not always easy and family dynamics can be negatively affected.
By working directly with a corporate personal representative, this ensures that the party has at least a degree of separation away from the family and decreases the chances of unnecessary conflict.
A corporate personal representative can serve alone or alongside a family member or friend. Schedule a consultation today with an estate planning lawyer in Pasadena to learn more.