There are many times in a person’s life when they may wish or need to name another person to a certain position. Some of these situations may relate to roles that require little professional or specific skills, such as being named as a Godparent for someone’s child. Other situations, however, relate to roles in which a person should have a higher degree of professional or specific skills, such as being named as a personal representative for someone’s estate.

Characteristics to look for in a personal representative

As explained by Forbes, managing the administration of a person’s estate is not a quick task. A personal representative can expect the entire process to take up to two full years and that may be in cases in which no terms of the will are contested. A good personal representative should be financially savvy and understand taxation as well as other investment and valuation concepts.

Many people automatically look within their family circle to identify a candidate to act as their personal representative. This may or may not be the best decision. Blood or marital relations do not guarantee a person’s ability to appropriately handle this important job. Kiplinger explains that for many people, a financial advisor, accountant or other similar professional may be the best choice of an personal representative.

Personal representatives must remain calm and collected

In addition to understanding and managing sometimes overly complex financial transactions, a personal representative often must address disagreements among family members or other heirs. This requires that a personal representative be able to remain calm and act in a diplomatic manner to avoid concerns escalating to an unnecessary level. Personal representatives should have prior knowledge of any potential family disputes to be prepared for these situations.

Choosing a personal representative can be a complex task. An estate planning attorney can provide the guidance you need to make a decision that suits you and your wishes.