Personal representation is a fiduciary responsibility of the deceased’s estate. It is his or her job to handle the financial affairs of the decedent and/or make legal decisions for another party (a minor child, an incapacitated adult) who had heretofore been the legal responsibility of the decedent. When the individual is spelled out in a will, he or she is called an executor or executrix, when the court is forced to appoint personal representation that individual is called the administrator or administratrix.
The duties of this individual involve the settlement and distribution of the estate. He or she must act in the best interests of all surviving parties and the estate, therefore it is important to select someone as the executor or executrix who is thoughtful, sound, responsible and able to deal with the stress of handling these affairs at a time when most people can only think to grieve. Sometimes, families decide to go outside the family for this reason.
We both assist in writing wills that designate the estate’s personal representation and we also provide legal counsel to those who are in charge of settling the affairs of an estate during probate. Most people aren’t fully aware of all of their duties during this period and come to use for assistance with asset collection, debt payments, filing financials and other document preparation involved in probate.
We are more than happy to assist you. We know that fraud often is perpetuated on families during this period—especially by those claiming a debt against the estate, and therefore take our duties as the estate’s legal representative quite seriously. It is our task to know what you don’t know, handle what you can’t handle, and protect your family from mischief in this critical time.