When it comes to estate planning, the decisions are in your hands. But, when you pass away, someone else will be responsible for executing these plans. This person is known as a personal representative. Read on to learn more about the role of a personal representative.

What is a personal representative?

During your life, you will appoint a personal representative. Once you pass away, the responsibilities of a personal representative begin. The job of a personal representative is to take all the necessary steps to close your estate.

How do I choose a personal representative?

This is an incredibly important role, so it should be given to someone you trust. This person should be responsible and reliable. Many people choose a close friend, family member, spouse, or partner.

What are the responsibilities of a personal representative?

When it comes to closing an estate, a personal representative will have the following responsibilities:

  1. Your personal representative must first file your will with the Register of Wills. This should be done in the county where you resided.
  2. If applicable, your personal representative must also file a petition for probate with the Orphans’ Court.
  3. Your personal representative must publish a statement in the local newspaper, instructing anyone who has a claim to make against you to do so now.
  4. Your representative will have to create a record of all your beneficiaries, assets, and any other remaining creditors. He or she must also take an inventory including the assets and their appraised values.
  5. He or she will have to ensure all outstanding federal, state, and estate taxes are filed.
  6. Your representative will have to distribute all assets to beneficiaries listed in your will.
  7. Your personal representative must handle any contested matters of asset distribution amongst heirs.
  8. Lastly, he or she will file a Certificate of Compliance to close your estate.

Choosing a personal representative is a big decision, and it should not be taken lightly. It is a good idea to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney to explore all of your options. Reach out to our firm today to discuss.

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