The Role Your Personal Representative Plays
When you create a will, you need to nominate a personal representative of your estate, who will be tasked with carrying out your wishes. Some of the tasks that personal representative will take on include:
- Locating assets: Your personal representative will need to locate all of your assets. This includes accessing various digital accounts and life insurance policies, as well as finding the physical location of some tangible personal property.
- Appraising assets: Your representative will also be tasked with valuing all of the assets you have as of your date of death. A date-of-death value is important for determining the value of your estate and any potential taxes owed.
- Notifying creditors: Your personal representative must notify all creditors of your death, and might have to pay off any debts you owe out of your estate assets. Creditors will have a limited amount of time to make claims for money they’re owed.
- Paying expenses: There are some ongoing expenses for which your estate will still be responsible, and it is your personal representative’s duty to meet all of those financial obligations. Examples include mortgages, property taxes, legal fees, appraisal fees, and costs for utilities.
- Tax returns: Your personal representative will be the party responsible for organizing the preparation and filing of tax returns. They do not necessarily have to take this task on themselves—they can delegate tax preparation to a professional. But your estate will still be responsible for paying final personal income taxes (both federal and state) if applicable, as well as any estate taxes, if your estate is subject to federal or state estate taxes.
For more information about what your personal representative will need to do, contact an experienced estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.