The Personal Representative’s Financial Responsibilities
While the personal representative of an estate does not bear any financial liability themselves in their duties managing an estate, they do have financial responsibilities to ensure the estate is properly administered.
The personal representative is charged with paying off debts owed by the deceased’s estate using estate assets.
To do this, the representative first must identify the applicable creditors and submit notice of the decedent’s death. This notice may take several forms, including both direct correspondence and running newspaper notices. After receiving notice, creditors have a limited time to make claims, and if valid, the personal representative will pay such debts from the estate.
The vast majority of estates will not be subject to federal estate taxes—only estates valued at $11.7 million or more (as of this tax year) will be subject to the taxes, though some states have their own estate taxes that are significantly lower. But if the estate value does fall above the exemption limit, then the personal representative will be tasked with paying those taxes from the estate.
Aside from the estate tax, the executor may need to prepare and file a personal income tax return for any income earned in the final year of life for the decedent, and then make any payments owed in relation to that tax return.
Interested in learning more about the responsibilities you will bestow upon your personal representative? Contact an experienced Florida estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law for answers to any questions you have about your estate planning issues.