When a loved one passes on, his or her estate needs to be appropriately managed. Your loved one chooses someone to carry out the estate administration. This person is called a personal representative. The personal representative's job is to:
Gather the assets of the estate.
Pay the debts of the loved one.
Distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.
While they are not difficult concepts to understand, each step has complications that can cause headaches for the personal representative and perhaps expose him or her to liability.
For example, not collecting all the assets of the estate can cause a delay in the general proceedings of closing the estate. On the other hand, distribution to beneficiaries too early can expose a personal representative to liability, causing him or her to pay out of pocket to reimburse the beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, if a loved one dies without electing a personal representative, the court will appoint one for the estate. This causes its own set of problems, because the appointed person may not be familiar with the desires of the deceased. At Drissman Law, we are here to help every step of the way. With individualized attention and proper planning, we can avoid many of the pitfalls of Probate Court.
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