Personal representatives’ duties begin almost immediately

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2022 | probate

Losing a loved one is not easy. It takes time for family and loved ones to grieve and move on. However, in the immediate aftermath of the passing the estate of the deceased needs to be settled. This is a process that may need to go through probate and the personal representative of the estate, who is generally named in the will, is the one responsible for settling the estate.

The personal representatives of estates are generally people who were family of the deceased. They will likely be going through the grieving process as well, but they also need to start their duties as the personal representative soon after the death.

The basic job of the personal representative is to ensure that the deceased’s wishes as stated in their wills are accomplished. To do this the personal representative needs to gather all the property owned by the deceased and distribute it to the beneficiaries named in the will.

Personal representatives need to inventory property

Within three months of being officially being appointed by the court, the personal representative needs to inventory all property owned by the deceased. This includes first locating all of it. After locating the property, the personal representative also needs to determine the fair market value of the property including any encumbrances that may be attached to it.

After the inventory is complete, the personal representative needs to mail it to the beneficiaries and all interested parties that are reasonably known to the personal representative. They also need to file the inventory with the court overseeing the probate.

Personal representatives in Massachusetts have important jobs to settle the estate. This can be a time-consuming and complicated process. It needs to be done correctly though. Creditors need to be paid and beneficiaries need to receive their inheritances. Most personal representatives are not familiar with the probate process though and may not know exactly what they need to do. Experienced attorneys understand the probate process and may be able to guide one through it.