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What Does a Personal Representative Do?

Maybe you knew the day would come. Or maybe you were surprised to find out when you read the Will. Perhaps someone else read the Will and then informed you. Whatever the case, it is YOUR name listed to be the personal representative of the estate. What does that mean for you? What does a personal representative do.

A personal representative administers a probate estate. This includes, but is not limited to the following responsibilities:

  • Identify, gather, value, and safeguard the decedent’s probate assets.
  • Keep real estate and personal property insured.
  • Receive rents and payments due. Collect interest, dividends and other income.
  • Make demand for debts, claims and notes due.
  • Obtain an EIN and open a bank account for the Estate.
  • Cancel unnecessary recurring expenses ie. cable, subscriptions, telephone, etc.
  • Continue to pay recurring bills to maintain assets in good standing. The bills can be paid from the Estate bank account. If you pay the bills from your personal  funds, keep a detailed accounting so that you may eventually be reimbursed from   the assets of the Estate.
  • Conduct a diligent search to locate “known or reasonably ascertainable” creditors, and notify these creditors of the time by which their claims must be  filed.
  • Object to improper claims, and defend suits brought on such claims.
  • Pay valid claims and obtain satisfactions for filing in the estate.
  • File federal tax returns and pay any federal and/or state taxes properly due.
  • Employ professionals to assist in the administration of the probate estate; for example, attorneys, certified public accountants, real estate agents, appraisers and investment advisors.
  • Pay expenses of administering the probate estate.
  • Pay statutory amounts to the decedent’s surviving spouse or family.
  • Distribute probate assets to beneficiaries obtain receipts for filing in the estate.
  • Close the probate estate.

Overwhelmed? Don’t be. With the help of an experienced probate attorney you will be a successful personal representative.

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