You Have Been Named Personal Representative Of A Will – Now What?
If you have been named the personal representative of an estate, you are responsible for overseeing the distribution of the estate. It is an appointment that carries with it considerable responsibility, especially if your loved one has a particularly complicated estate or if there are legal challenges to contest the validity of the Will or interpretation of the Will.
A Personal Representative is responsible, among other things, to:
- Timely file a copy of the Will with the Probate Court
- Notify government agencies and other institutions of the person’s death
- Complete and File an Application to be appointed as Personal Representative
- Determine which assets need to go through Probate
- Set up an Estate Account to hold estate funds
- Complete an Inventory & Appraisement setting forth all assets and the appropriate values of each asset
- Handling and Negotiating any creditor claims against the Estate
- Appearing in court, if necessary
- Distributing Assets
- Filing the decedent’s last income tax return and a fiduciary tax return
- Completing all necessary documents to close the Estate
Occasionally, probate carries with it unique issues, such as:
- Probating a copy of the Will when the original Will cannot be located
- Seeking appointment to probate the Estate when the named Personal Representatives are no longer available or are unwilling to serve as Personal Representative
- Seeking Court permission to sell Real Estate
- Setting up Trusts for beneficiaries who are minors, incapacitated individuals, or otherwise unable to manage their inheritance
- Defending actions to challenge the Personal Representative’s management of the Estate; the interpretation of the Will; or, the validity of the Decedent’s Last Will & Testament
The assistance of a probate attorney will likely be helpful during this process. Duggan & Hughes, LLC can provide you with all aspects of the probate process as well as developing an estate plan for yourself that avoids unnecessary issues and complications.