Deciding who should take charge of your affairs after you are gone can be very tricky. Parents often just list all of their kids to be co-representatives, but that can result in deadlocks and disagreements. Simply listing the kids, in their birth order, can also be a problem and can create resentment between the children.
Even more importantly, that method doesn’t take into account the skills that are necessary to properly administer an estate. The personal representative should be well-organized and emotionally mature enough to handle the tasks which will need to be performed, such as filing final tax returns, selling real estate, handling investments and collecting assets.
Sometimes a non-family member is actually the best choice to be a personal representative. A trusted family friend or a private fiduciary (such as bank) might be the best choice since they are not grieving the death of a loved one. They can act quickly and non-emotionally, allowing the family go through the grieving process without the additional stress of administering the estate.
The key is to give serious consideration to this important task and then spell out your intentions in a clear, written estate plan.