Your loved one has passed away, and you were named as the Personal Representative (“PR”) in their Will; but what does this mean? As the PR, you will be responsible for figuring out what assets are in the estate, paying any creditors, paying any taxes that may be owed, locating heirs and family, distributing assets, and finally closing the Estate.
The first thing a PR needs to do is file an application for probate with the Court along with the original Will. The Court will then appoint the PR, which will legally permit the PR to act on behalf of the person who has passed away. The PR will need to file an inventory with the Court which lists all of the assets currently in the Estate and will need to open a bank account for the Estate to pay any bills or expenses during the estate administration.
The specific duties of the PR will vary based on what type of assets need to be distributed. For example, if there is a house this may need to be sold and the proceeds distributed to the named beneficiaries in Will. The PR is responsible for selling or distributing any personal property in the home, coordinating with a realtor to list the house for sale, paying any utility or mortgage payments from estate assets while the sale is pending, and signing the paperwork to sell the house.
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Serving as the PR for an estate can be an overwhelming job, and probate can become even more complicated if there are unhappy family members who contest the Will or the actions of the PR. A probate attorney can assist the PR in administering the estate and help guide them through the process to ensure the assets are distributed correctly and the PR does not face any personal liability. If a loved one has passed away and you were named as the PR for their estate, contact our experienced team at Jorgensen, Brownell & Pepin today to help guide you through this complicated process.