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What are the personal representative’s responsibilities?

In DuBois, Clearfield County and the surrounding areas of Western Pennsylvania, people who are trying to make sure they are well prepared for the future will take all the necessary steps to have a comprehensive estate plan. Depending on the circumstances, that can include a will, a trust and other options.

Many will think about how they want to distribute their property, what steps they need to take to ensure a smooth transition for a family run business or to simply be generous and give some of what they have accrued to charity. Regardless of their goal, it is important to understand the underlying details of estate planning. One that is frequently overlooked is the duties of the personal representative. For assistance in these matters, it is important to have experienced advice.

What is the personal representative’s role?

The personal representative is sometimes referred to as the executor or the administrator, depending on the circumstances. It is an integral role, so it is always wise to have someone who is not only capable of fulfilling the duties and will strive to adhere to the law.

After the testator has died, the personal representative is required to file an inventory of the decedent’s estate except for real estate outside of Pennsylvania. When there is real estate outside of Pennsylvania, there will be a memorandum about its existence. The personal representative must file the inventory by the time they file the account or the due date to file for the inheritance tax – whichever comes first. Those who have interest in the estate can ask for the inventory filing earlier.

When the personal representative calculates the values of the estate, it must be a fair and objective value. They might not have knowledge of all the properties in the estate at the time they file, so if new information comes to light, they must file a supplemental inventory within 30 days of its discovery. Anyone who has an interest in the estate can file an objection to the inventory.

Personal representatives can take possession of the decedent’s property except for occupied real estate. They can collect rent on property and pay for its preservation. If there was a business that the decedent owned and ran, the personal representative can continue that business if it is to the estate’s benefit.

Given the extent of a personal representative’s role, having help with the process is key

As these responsibilities show, the personal representative will have a lot to consider as they try to go about their duties. Once the personal representative is named, they must follow the law in overseeing the estate. Since this can be so complicated, it is imperative to have professional help in handling these duties. For any aspect of estate planning, probate and other aspects, consulting with qualified professionals is crucial to reaching the desired outcome.