With the death of your loved one, it is time for you to assume your responsibilities as personal representative per the instructions in the will.
Since the estate will go through probate, the probate court will confirm your appointment. Here are four tips to help you succeed in your new role.
Protect the assets
If your loved one was well organized, all the information you need may be in one place, such as a safe deposit box. Otherwise, you will have to do some digging. The attorney who drew up the will may have a list of assets, so this is a good place to begin your search. Remember that it is your job to protect the assets until the probate process is complete, after which you will wind up the affairs of the estate by making distributions to heirs, per the instructions in the will.
Pay bills and taxes
On behalf of the decedent, you must pay debts and any taxes owed. You can set up a bank account in the name of the estate in order to properly receive deposits and pay bills.
Do not rush the process
Remember that you are legally responsible as a personal representative managing the estate of a decedent. A thoughtful, well-organized approach is best. If you try to rush through the work, you could face liability for missing a crucial step.
Rely on professional guidance
You may have many questions in your role as personal representative. To ensure your success, do not hesitate to seek assistance from accountants, appraisers, attorneys and other professionals.