Avoid missteps in your role as personal representative

26 Oct, 2021

On Behalf of Mack & Mack Attorneys | probate administration

Perhaps you have become a personal representative after a loved one’s sudden death.

When you agreed to take on this responsibility, the time for action probably seemed far into the future. But that time is now and avoiding common mistakes will help you carry out your duties successfully.

Understand your responsibilities

Many personal representatives find the job of administering a decedent’s estate overwhelming. Duties begin with filing the will with the probate court. The focus then moves to protecting the assets, paying debts, filing tax returns and distributing assets to beneficiaries. Some personal representatives try to rush the process, but moving too quickly could cause mistakes, and mistakes could result in legal liability.

Stay organized

As a personal representative, you will probably find yourself in unfamiliar territory wondering which of the various tasks you should handle first. It is important to stay organized. Making lists helps. You can manage responsibilities more easily by checking off tasks as you complete them. There is much paperwork in settling an estate. Keep it well organized and it will be easier to manage.

Maintain contact with beneficiaries

Beneficiaries want to know what you are doing and what progress you are making toward asset distribution. Keep in touch. It is a good idea to communicate with beneficiaries when you complete major milestones.

Seek professional help

There are various rules and regulations for you to follow as a personal representative and you must adhere to the instructions of the court. However, do not feel you must discharge your duties without professional assistance. Ask for help when you need it and avoid costly missteps in the important work of settling an estate.

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