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The Role of the Personal Representative

The Role of the Personal Representative

Estate planning is an important matter, as is the distribution of the estate. Depending on the terms of the will, an administrator may be named or may be decided upon by the court. In general it is typically the closest family member or friend that is capable of handling the task or can be a company as well. It is also possible for the personal representative to be comprised of multiple individuals, such as close family members that can make the decision together. The responsibilities of the role of a personal representative, administrator or executor can be important and time consuming. Often the ease of distributing an estate can rely on how well the will or trust specified how assets were to be divided up and to whom they would go. The will needs to be deemed valid and then all aspects of the deceased person are gathered together. The personal representative will take inventory, documenting all assets.

The representative will also need to determine what debts are owed by the deceased and will pay them from the estate if possible. If the value of the estate is insufficient to cover all owed expenses, the representative will need court approval to decide upon which creditors to pay. If after paying on debts there are still assets available, these will be divided up depending on how the will states for it to be done. It is also the responsibility of the personal representative to file tax returns and take action if money is owed to the estate. Since the personal representative is acting on behalf of the will and the wishing stated by the deceased person, they are the defendant in the event of any disputes about the will. It is an important role that can carry great responsibility. At The Law Office of Michael J. Brescia, P.C., our Long Island estate planning attorney is entirely capable of handling matters relating to the estate, assisting personal representatives to carry out the will in the most efficient way possible. If you have legal matter pertaining to an estate, contact a Long Island estate planning lawyer from our firm to assist you.


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