Duties of a Personal Representative
When you are deciding who should be your estate’s executor, also known as a personal representative, it is important to consider their actual duties. Generally, you want to choose someone who is trustworthy, reliable and has the skills to carry out the required tasks.
Here are the main duties of a personal representative:
- Locating assets in the will: After the testator dies, the personal representative locates the assets identified in the will. This could include bank accounts, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds and other investments, real estate and personal belongings. As the assets are collected, they need to be valued either by the date of death or a permissible IRS alternative valuation.
- Filing the will in probate court: The personal representative must file the will with the probate court within a certain time period. In Florida, that period is 10 days after the testator’s death, in the testator’s county of domicile.
- Notifying interested parties: A personal representative is also responsible for notifying the beneficiaries named in the will and other interested parties, such as the Social Security Administration, utilities companies, creditors, the post office and the DMV.
- Pay estate debts: Next, the personal representative must pay off the estate’s debts. Creditors are entitled to file claims against the estate to attempt to collect such debt.
- File final income taxes: The personal representative must file the estate’s final income tax return and pay any remaining taxes.
- Distributing assets to heirs: Finally, the personal representative can distribute assets to the testator’s heirs, and officially close the estate.
This is a broad overview of the personal representative’s duties. Depending on the complexity of the estate, there may be additional responsibilities and obligations. Talk to your attorney to find out whether your personal representative can expect any other duties or specific challenges.
Need help drawing up your will? Call the trusted estate planning attorneys at Baumann Kangas Estate Law in Tampa, FL today.