Do you believe that you have recently been appointed in the role of personal representative for a deceased family member? If so, you are one of the many family members who may find themselves in over their heads with the responsibility of closing out a loved one’s probate estate. This process is known as estate administration and is handled by an individual called a personal representative or executor.
What’s First as a Personal Representative?
The personal representative must begin by gathering all of the assets and debts belonging to the estate to determine the overall value of the estate and whether other concerns, such as estate taxes will apply at the state or federal level. As a North Dakota personal representative lawyer can tell you, it’s easy to get confused by all of the local and state requirements to manage another person’s probate. This might lead you to contact the offices of a North Dakota personal representative attorney to get further information about how to proceed.
Most people have not served in the role of personal representative before and may not be aware of all that this entails. This makes it an excellent opportunity to speak with a lawyer who regularly represents personal representatives to ensure they have a clear comprehension of every task required of them and have somewhere to turn in the event that a beneficiary or creditor files a lawsuit against them. Lawsuits do not affect the vast majority of probate estates; however, they are a potential risk that could expose you to personal liability.
To avoid this risk and minimize the possibility of ending up in court and further delaying probate, you’ll want to retain the services of a personal representative attorney in North Dakota as soon as possible after you ‘ve been appointed. You might not have even known that you were named in your loved one’s estate to carry out probate or you might have had to take on this role because other family members turned it down and no will existed. No matter how you came to find yourself in this position, you deserve to have the support of an experienced lawyer who has been there before and one who is very familiar with the common process and pitfalls of probate.
One of the most important things for you to know during this time is that you are not alone and that you have the guidance and support provided by an experienced lawyer. Do not put yourself through the additional stress of trying to figure out what probate looks like and how to navigate through it on your own. You can turn to an experienced attorney at any point in this process to get further information or to review all of the tasks ahead of you. Personal representatives cannot distribute assets in the estate to beneficiaries until all creditors and other expenses have been addressed. This includes payment of state and federal taxes, for example. Proper time must be given to allow creditors to come forward and make a formal claim against the estate, and following this point in time, once the personal representative has completed all of their accounting, they may then close out the estate and pay any remaining assets over to beneficiaries. The support of a lawyer makes this process that much easier and gives you an opportunity to get questions answered quickly when someone else is unclear of what you need to do. Do not hesitate to get help from an attorney who has guided many other personal representatives through this process with these.