Without thinking about it too much, many people designate one of their children to be the personal representative of their estate. They should think about it carefully, before doing so.
The personal representative of your estate should be someone you trust to handle your estate just as you want it handled. You want to be certain that the executor will faithfully follow the instructions laid out in your will, including distributing your assets according to your wishes.
Many people trust one of their own children above all other potential candidates for this responsibility. They name that child as their personal representative, having put little thought into the consequences of doing so. It is not always a good idea, as Texas Lawyer discusses in "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Executors."
Being an personal representative is not an easy job. If people do not know what they are doing, it is very easy for them to make mistakes. They can often be held personally liable for those mistakes.
A personal representative does more than just distribute the assets of the estate. He or she must be able to communicate with the court and with any heirs about the estate. If, for example, the personal representative and a sibling do not get along, there can be problems. In some cases, personal representative will need to invest assets for a period of time, before they can be distributed. The personal representative need to do that investing wisely.
Before naming one of your children to be the personal representative of your estate, think through whether it is a role you really want that child to have. It might be better, in some cases, to name a professional.
Reference: Texas Lawyer (March 6, 2018) "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Executors."
Suggested Key Words: Estate Planning, Executor