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Who is a personal representative and what do they do?

On Behalf of | May 2, 2022 | Estate Administration & Probate

In Florida, the process of probate can be a little different from some other states. It is important to understand the key figures and rules for managing an estate, and one of those figures is the personal representative.

Responsibilities for estates in Florida

When someone passes away, their remaining assets and possessions go through the probate process, which is a legal way of resolving any conflicts, debts, taxes and other issues in the course of distributing the remaining assets. This process will vary in complexity based on the size of the estate and how orderly its organization and obligations are. The personal representative is an important person in the process. In other states, they are known as the executor of the estate. Their job is to be the point person for all of the processes associated with probate.

The personal representative does not need to be a lawyer or an accountant. They can hire help if they want, but their job is to do the basic work of understanding what the deceased wanted in the form of their will, checking for debts and taxes, and going through the process of distributing the assets to the intended recipients as long as there are no problems. When it’s time to make decisions, they have to do so in the best interests of the estate, not themselves. That is why selecting the right personal representative is so important for estate planning.

Estate planning is a complex process. However, understanding what the personal representative does and why they are important is a key part of choosing the best person for the job.