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The role of a personal representative: 7 key tasks

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Uncategorized |

Losing someone is hard, and having to manage their estate can bring additional duties and challenges to this difficult time. Serving as a personal representative (sometimes called an executor) involves a variety of different tasks during the probate process.

What must a personal representative do?

The personal representative’s primary duty is to carry out the wishes of the deceased according to their will. This includes:

  1. Filing the will and initiating probate— First, the personal representative must find the will and file it with the local probate court to kick off the process.
  2. Notifying heirs—The personal representative must let all the potential heirs and people named in the will know what is happening.
  3. Making an inventory of the estate—The personal representative must make a list of everything the deceased owned, from houses and cars to bank accounts and stocks.
  4. Managing the estate– The estate requires management during the probate process. This includes paying any ongoing bills, looking after properties and handling investments.
  5. Paying debts and taxes—The personal representative must pay off a number of debts. This includes paying bills, filing a tax return for the person who passed and paying estate taxes.
  6. Distributing assets– After paying taxes and debts, they will distribute the rest of the estate to the people named in the will.
  7. Closing the estate– Finally, the personal representative must complete a final account of the estate and request to close the estate.

Because the probate process is complex, personal representatives may face a variety of challenges. Guidance during probate can help them complete each task with confidence.