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What Does a Personal Representative Do and Who Should You Choose?

What Does a Personal Representative Do and Who Should You Choose?

What Does a Personal Representative Do?

A personal representative is a person that administers a decedent’s estate. They are appointed by the decedent in the decedent’s will or by the court. A personal representative must distribute the decedent’s estate efficiently and in a manner that adheres to the directions outlined in the decedent’s will (or the probate laws if the decedent died without a will).

A personal representative is generally responsible for opening the estate, collecting the assets of the estate, preparing an inventory of the property, paying various estate expenses, paying valid claims against the estate, and distributing the estate property to the beneficiaries.

Who Should You Choose?

Being a personal representative can be a big task, so who should you choose for the job? Well, under Indiana law, there are certain groups of people that are disqualified from being a personal representative. Disqualified persons include:

  • Anyone under eighteen (18) years of age;
  • Someone that is mentally incapacitated;
  • Convicted felons;
  • Resident corporations not authorized to act as a fiduciary in the state; or
  • Any person whom the court finds unsuitable.

You need to make sure that your assigned personal representative does not fall under any of the above categories. Further, your personal representative should be honest and someone whom you trust.

Aside from trustworthiness, your personal representative should be someone who is responsible and available. As mentioned earlier, being a personal representative can be a big task, so you need to assign someone that has the ability to devote attention and time to your probate matter.

Finally, an ideal personal representative is also organized. A personal representative will have a lot of tasks to keep up with. They will need to gather and identify all of your assets, take inventory of your estate, terminate your credit cards, file your final tax returns, pay off funeral costs, etc. It is best to assign an organized personal representative so these duties don’t fall through the cracks.

If you need to create or reevaluate your estate planning documents, contact McNeelyLaw today at 317-825-5110 to talk to an experienced Indiana estate planning attorney.

This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal
advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.

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