Did you anticipate being named in the role of personal representative? What if you didn’t and don’t want to serve? These are all questions you can present to a personal representative lawyer when you are named in an estate or when other family members who could potentially serve in this role inform you that they do not intend to take the position.
It’s easy to feel like you’re all on your own with these kinds of claims, but you don’t have to be. You might be able to hire a lawyer to assist with navigation of complex claims like this.
What Does a Personal Representative Do?
A personal representative is the formal estate administrator approved by the court to take actions on behalf of the estate to close it out and pay out any remaining distributions to beneficiaries. Most people are caught off guard by exactly how many responsibilities are entailed under the umbrella of working as a personal representative and can easily get in over their heads. If this applies to you or you’re not sure about the extent of your loved one’s estate or where to find assets, you might want to meet with a New Hampshire personal representative attorney to discuss these terms and whether or not you have other options.
A personal representative needs to be appointed for every estate over a certain amount and the personal representative has to be the one to gather all of the paperwork and information. Some people leave their estates as an organized affair with clear paperwork and documentation but others do not leave anything behind but a mess. This can make things especially difficult for a personal representative who is attempting to sort through one of those estates that is a mess. In those circumstances, be prepared to work with a lawyer who is highly knowledgeable about the personal representative process and one who can explain to you what you might expect in this situation and some of the common pitfalls that you could encounter.
You are not obligated to serve in the role of personal representative. Although you may feel pressured during this difficult time in your life to help yourself or other members of the family, just remember that you are not obligated to take on this responsibility. You can choose to speak first with an experienced personal representative lawyer to decide whether or not this is the right fit for you and your individual circumstances. Remember that if you do not serve, someone else may be appointed in this role. A personal representative has a responsibility to act in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries but this does not always mean you would personally agree with the decisions and choices made by a different personal representative. On the other hand, being a personal representative is a big job and one that entails many different tasks. So if you have a great deal of responsibilities or live out of state from your loved one’s estate location, you may prefer to pass this responsibility onto someone else.
Reasons to Hire a Personal Representative Lawyer
It is certainly true that some estates can be effectively managed easily and relatively quickly without the support of an attorney.
However, many personal representatives choose to retain a personal representative attorney in New Hampshire to help them with this process and to guide them through so that everything is handled in a timely fashion. If this describes you and you need further information about what to expect, you can consult with an experienced personal representative lawyer as soon as possible to discuss the options available to you and to decide if this is the right fit for you.