On December 26, 2014

When a loved one passes away, you may be put in the position of being a personal representative for that loved one’s estate. Also referred to as executors, personal representatives have a lot of responsibility when it comes to the administration of an estate, and understanding these responsibilities and obligations is crucial to:

  • Properly and efficiently administering an estate
  • Avoiding mistakes and unnecessary challenges
  • Minimizing personal liability in the estate administration process.

In this three-part blog series, we’ll point out some helpful tips for personal representatives administering estates. If you’ve recently taken up the role of being a personal representative or if you need any help with estate planning, estate administration and/or probate, don’t hesitate to contact the trusted and experienced Denver estate planning attorneys at HR Phillips & Associates. Our lawyers are here to help you navigate the complexities of the law so you can obtain the best possible outcomes to all of your estate planning and administration needs.

Tips for Personal Representatives Administering Estates: Here’s What You Should Know

Tip 1 – Know your duties and obligations.

Here are some helpful tips for personal representatives administering estates. Contact us for help with all of your estate planning and administration needs.

Here are some helpful tips for personal representatives administering estates. Contact us for help with all of your estate planning and administration needs.

Accepting the role of being a personal representative is no light matter, and when you do agree to take on this position, it’s crucial that you take the time to fully understand all of the duties and responsibilities you will have until you close the estate or until you step down from this position.

In particular, when administering estates, just some of the more significant duties personal representatives may have include the duties to:

  • Inventory the assets of the estate
  • Manage the estate’s assets throughout the probate process
  • Ensure that all of the estate’s debts and bills are paid
  • Distribute the assets of the estate to the appropriate beneficiaries
  • Maintain impartiality whenever dealing with estate administration matters.

Here, it’s also important to point out that the terms of any will that has been left by a decedent may limit or expand personal representatives’ duties. Consequently, it’s advised that these people thoroughly review any will left behind to comprehend the extent (or limits) of their authority and responsibilities.

Tip 2 – Find the will and other important documents.

A decedent’s will may not always be readily available, and finding it will be among the first steps personal representatives should take as they get ready to start administering an estate. Here are some helpful tips when it comes to finding wills:

  • Check the decedent’s home, place of business and/or safety deposit box(es).
  • Meet with the decedent’s estate planning lawyer to find out if this professional has a copy of the signed, latest version of the will.
  • If you can’t find the will (or viable, authorized copy of it), the Colorado Bar Association recommends that you consult with an attorney to find out how to proceed (with intestate probate).

In addition to the will, other important documents you may want to find include (but may not be limited to) documents that outline:

  • Funeral and burial plans
  • Trusts and nuptial agreements
  • Insurance policies and retirement plans
  • Bank accounts and other assets, like home(s) and/or vehicle(s).

Don’t miss the second and third parts of this blog series that will be published soon for some more helpful tips for personal representatives administering estates for decedents.

Denver Probate and Estate Administration Attorneys at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

When you are ready for assistance administering an estate and/or getting through probate, you can turn to the probate and estate administration lawyers at JR Phillips & Associates, PC. We provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ estate planning, elder law and other legal needs, and we take pride in helping each of our clients and their families find the best solutions for them.

To find out more about how we can help you administer an estate, schedule an initial consult with us today by calling (303) 741-2400 or emailing us using the contact form at the top of this page.

From our offices in Denver, we serve clients throughout the southwest and southeast Metro Area, including (but not limited to) people in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, Greenwood Village and Englewood.

Categories: Estate Administration, Probate, Trustees, Executors & Fiduciaries