J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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Personal representatives getting help with estate administration

Although many people will go through a range of personal issues after a loved one dies, there will be legal issues that need to be addressed as well; namely carrying out the provisions detailed in a will or other estate planning documents. In many estate plans, a "personal representative" will be appointed - otherwise known as the executor of the estate. It is this person's job to initiate the probate process, among other duties.

As long as the designated personal representative was consulted about the role before he was needed, there probably won't be many surprises. However, some people are named personal representative and only find out after the person's death - and then they have no idea what to do. Designated personal representatives who find themselves in this type of situation will oftentimes look for help when dealing with difficult estate administration issues.

At our law firm, we attempt to help personal representatives through the probate process to ensure that on each step of the way they have the right information to make the right choices. Being the personal representative of an estate is both an honor and a difficult task; we attempt to make the task a bit easier.

Personal representatives have a wide range of duties to carry out. They must marshal the estate's assets and protect those assets while the probate process is playing out. They must locate and contact the designated heirs and beneficiaries so that they are informed of the legal proceedings. And then they must make sure that the assets in question are distributed properly once the probate process is complete.

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