Personal Executors vs Professional Executors, What’s The Difference?

A commonly asked question is: “What are the advantages of a professional executor vs. an individual executor?” Typically, a professional executor (also called a “personal representative”) is a specialist in handling estate administration.  Professional executors will almost certainly be familiar with your state's laws and procedures governing probate administration.

In addition, a professional executor will not have an emotional bias regarding the estate and may be more impartial and more capable of acting independently in accordance with the decedent’s instructions.

In contrast, the advantages of an individual executor are based on their personal relationship with the decedent. An individual executor or personal representative is more likely to be personally familiar with the family and will better understand family dynamics.  While a personal executor is often more affordable than their professional counterpart, they are also typically less knowledgeable in the law.  This means that they might be more prone to mistake, which could cause the Estate more money in the long run.

Whatever, type of personal representative you chose, it is important to consider the strengths of both options. Often people will select a form of co-personal representative’s arrangement. This type of structure can often benefit an estate by combined expertise and strengths of the individual and institution.  Using you can select both a professional and personal executor to administer your estate. Using you can select whether you would like to appoint a professional executor or a personal executor to administer your probate estate.