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What are personal representatives responsible for?

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2022 | Estate Planning

Though it differs from state to state, generally speaking, personal representatives are estate executors named in a will or appointed by the court in the case of an invalid will or absent will.

After approval and appointment, this individual will hold the duty of distributing the estate of the deceased individual in question. What exactly are these duties when broken down?

Funeral and inventory preparations

California State Legislature looks into the responsibilities that personal representatives have. First and foremost, taking care of the funeral itself often falls to the representative. This includes setting up any ceremonies desired and taking care of the body after the funeral itself. A representative may have to cover expenses out of pocket if they do not yet have access to the estate funds, which means they must keep close track of expenses from the start.

They must then prepare inventory. This means making detailed inventories of every asset of the estate. This also includes any debts owed by the estate to other creditors. Assets can include property, real estate, life insurance, bank accounts, investments and more. A representative also needs to notify creditors of the deceased individual’s passing. Most will give a payoff amount they find acceptable. The representative pays with estate funds and reports this to the probate court.

Preparing the final account

Finally, it is up to the representative to prepare the final account. After collecting money owed and paying debts owed, they need to file a final accounting report to the probate court. They then need to file a petition to distribute the estate, which can then happen in accordance with the will. It is a long process that the representative must prepare for.