You have been appointed the personal representative of a loved one’s estate, but do you know what this really means? If you are like many in Florida the answer is, “Kind of … maybe?” Being the personal representative of a loved one’s estate is an honor, but it comes with specific duties that you are expected to perform upon your loved one’s death.
What is a personal representative?
Upon your loved one’s death, the court or the deceased’s will appoints you as the personal representative of the decedent’s estate. Your job as personal representative is to administer the deceased’s estate per the terms of Florida law.
The tasks of a personal representative
A personal representative has numerous duties. First, they must collect and safeguard the assets of the deceased. They must notify creditors of the death. They also must serve a “notice of administration” that allows any who may object to the administration of the deceased’s estate.
A personal representative must search out the deceased’s creditors and let them know of the death. A personal representative must object to improper claims against the decedent’s estate and defend these claims on behalf of the decedent. The personal representative is responsible for paying valid claims as well as filing the necessary tax returns and paying taxes owed.
Finally, the personal representative can distribute the remaining estate assets to the appropriate heirs. Following that, they can close the probate estate.
Seek help if you are designated as a personal representative
As this shows, there are many duties you must fulfill as a personal representative. It is not an easy task, nor is it one most people are familiar with. For this reason, many personal representatives choose to work with an attorney to ensure they fulfill all duties competently and carefully.