The 3 Biggest Responsibilities of a Personal Representative

Being named the personal representative of a loved one’s estate comes with some big responsibilities. The Personal Representative is responsible for executing or overseeing, the wishes laid out by the deceased, or testator, as well as winding up all affairs of the estate. You, in essence, usher the estate through the probate process, in accordance with state laws. Read on to learn about the three biggest duties you will be asked to perform.

1. Identifying and assembling all of the deceased’s assets.

As soon as possible after the testator’s death, you should take the following actions:

  • Gather all life insurance policies and  begin the claim procedure.
  • Contact the local Social Security office to determine what, if any, benefits may be payable.
  • Notify the deceased’s bank(s) of their death, Marshal all of the decedent’s cash assets, such as checking and savings accounts, brokerage cash accounts, and certificates of deposit. You should also account for other assets such as stocks and bonds, real estate, and mineral interests.

2. Pay bills, debts, and taxes.

You may if you wish, go ahead and pay funeral expenses and other minor necessary expenses such as utility bills for which you will be reimbursed. Remember to keep a list of expenses paid.

3. Contact an Attorney as soon as possible

Every personal representative should have an attorney to guide them through the ins and outs of this process, and to make sure all the personal representative’s duties are performed legally and efficiently. Remember to bring a copy of all estate planning documents (Will and Trust, if any)  along with a copy of the death certificate to your initial appointment.

At Robertson & Williams, we provide exceptional services in a timely manner and for a reasonable cost. If you have been named the personal representative for an estate, we can help make sure that every step of the process is completed thoroughly and in accordance with the law. Give us a call today at (405) 848-1944 to learn more about how we can help you.

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