As you begin the Probate or Estate Planning process, the term Personal Representative will definitely come up. The term Personal Representative is most commonly used, but the terms Executor or Executrix may be used if there was a Will and the term Special Administrator or Special Administratrix may be used if there was not a Will. Generally speaking, a Personal Representative is the person responsible for protecting and distributing your Estate in a manner that is consistent with your wishes. This task has many responsibilities, and you are going to want to make sure you have the right person for the job.
You may expressly name who you would like to be your Personal Representative by including it in your Will. Otherwise, a Personal Representative will be appointed to your Estate by the Court. You may also avoid having a court appointed Personal Representative, by including some back-ups on your Will. Just in case your first choice is not willing or able to perform their duties.
There are many tasks that your Personal Representative will be asked to perform, and they are all supervised by the Probate Court. Some of these tasks include: finding and protecting your assets, establishing date-of-death values for your assets, notifying your creditors and paying off your outstanding debts, preparing and filing tax returns, paying ongoing expenses, and distributing the balance of your Estate. Furthermore, each one of these listed tasks comes with its own set of responsibilities.
In conclusion, the job of a Personal Representative is no small feat. If you would like to discuss anything pertaining to this article, or if you have any other Probate or Estate Planning questions, feel free to contact our firm, Hartsfield & Egbert, PLLC at (405)285-6858, or visit our website www.helawedmond.com and ask your question in the comment box.