If you have recently learned that your loved one named you as their personal representative in their estate planning documents, there is a good chance that you have questions about what this entails and how you can best carry out all of these tasks in an efficient and orderly manner.
You know that you have plenty of things to care of in this process, but in what order should you handle them? How will you keep track of it all? These are good questions to share with an attorney who has been involved in probate before.
Most people want to make things easier for other family members and friends who may be entitled to receive assets through the will or through the estate but do not realize all that is entailed by being a personal representative. As a personal representative in Mississippi can tell you, there is a full checklist of tasks that all begins with filing the will in court. You might also come to be a personal representative when no will exists and when the court appoints you as the individual responsible for handling these important tasks. Educating yourself on what is expected and preparing for how to move forward will give you a great deal of peace of mind in this process so that you can proceed with confidence.
A personal representative might also be referred to as an administrator or the executor for the estate of a deceased individual. Personal representatives have a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of estates, meaning that they must act with loyalty, honesty and in good faith. What is most important in terms of their fiduciary responsibilities is that they must act in the best interests of those who are beneficiaries of the estate. Personal representatives both must follow the terms of the deceased person’s will and adhere to the law. This is why it is so important to find a Mississippi personal representative lawyer to help you. If you are not sure what is involved with being a personal representative, a personal representative attorney in Mississippi can walk you through the local and state requirements as well as the benefits of working with an attorney.
Role of a Personal Representative
A personal representative is not only responsible for closing out the deceased person’s estate in court but they are also the individual who has the authority to make decisions about creditor claims. For example, a personal representative begins by gathering all of the assets in the estate and creating a comprehensive inventory of all of those belongings as well as any debts owed by the decedent. From that point they will allow any creditors to come forward with claims against the estate, file estate tax returns and make payments for any necessarily due taxes and will then distribute the remaining assets inside the estate.
Since a personal representative typically performs a number of different types of tasks when acting as an executor, they may need the support of an outside legal professional to guide them through this process and clarify many of the most common questions. If you find yourself in this situation or are concerned about the possibility of a beneficiary on the estate alleging that you have mishandled funds or otherwise acted inappropriately, you need to share this information with a knowledgeable lawyer.