Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Tampa Estate Planning Attorneys > Blog > Wills > Choosing A Personal Representative In Your Will

Choosing A Personal Representative In Your Will


Creating a will is one of the most basic yet important estate planning tasks. It acts as a guide in probate court proceedings and helps ensure your final affairs are settled properly. As part of your will, you will need to name a personal representative. Our Tampa wills attorney explains more about their duties and how to choose the right person for this task.

The Role Of A Personal Representative In Estate Planning

A will provides an inventory of all your property and assets, designated beneficiaries of your estate, and determines how distributions are made. In it, you will need to name a personal representative, whose duty it is to ensure your estate is settled properly.

The requirements and duties for personal representatives are detailed under Section 733.602 of the Florida Statutes. Tasks they are responsible for include:

  • Locating your will, life insurance paperwork, lists of financial accounts, and other estate planning documents;
  • Contacting your employer, the Social Security Administration, Veterans Affairs, or other agencies that may provide death benefits;
  • Locating, securing, and temporarily managing any property and assets you possess;
  • Identifying creditors and outstanding debts, as well as money owed to your estate;
  • Locating and identifying beneficiaries and making sure distributions are properly made;
  • Providing a final accounting and filing tax returns required to close your estate.

Selecting A Personal Representative

In Tampa, your personal representative needs to be formally appointed by the Hillsborough County Probate Court. Many people choose their spouse, adult children, or other close family members for this task. While this may be fine in certain situations, it is important to be aware of how heavy a responsibility being a personal representative is.

Consider the various types of complex tasks a personal representative must perform and whether the person you are considering is qualified and able to assume this role. Family members may need time to focus on themselves and the grief process. They may also have certain limitations that would make being a personal representative impractical and overwhelming. Factor to consider in selecting the right person for this role include:

  • Their age: Under state law, your personal representative must be at least 18.
  • Their health and mobility: They should be physically able to travel to and from court and attend meetings with others involved.
  • Their prior experience and knowledge: They should have some prior professional or life experience that would enable them to deal with the court, creditors, and other parties involved, along with basic knowledge of property management and financial matters.
  • Their relationship to you: Your personal representative should be someone you trust to act in your best interests and in accordance with your final wishes.

Discuss Your Options With Our Tampa Wills Attorney

At the Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C., our Tampa wills lawyer provides trusted legal guidance in estate planning. We can help in creating a will, choosing a personal representative, and putting other important documents in place. To discuss your options, call or contact our office online and request a consultation today.




Facebook Twitter LinkedIn