You pride yourself on being organized, responsible and honest then suddenly you find yourself designated as the executor of a loved one’s estate. In Colorado the term personal representative is used to identify the executor of the estate. Whether you were chosen by your loved one or appointed by the court, you should consider this a big honor. But the idea of being in charge can also be overwhelming, especially if you are not familiar with the duties of a will executor/personal representative.
We’ve assembled a list of responsibilities of a personal representative here to help you take control of the situation at hand. As a personal representative, you must:
- Review the latest version of the deceased’s will
- Admit the will into probate, if necessary
- Collect all of the assets, including personal property and bank accounts
- Distribute assets to individuals or organizations as specified in the will
- Pay all incoming bills and taxes as they come in and handle any claims made by creditors of the estate
- Keep the property of the estate properly maintained – don’t let things get run down or damaged
If this responsibility is too much for you to understand or handle, you have several options:
- Hire an estate administration lawyer to help you understand the process or handle all of the duties
- Decline the responsibility (the court will appoint a replacement if no alternate is designated)
- Resign as the executor at any time (the court will appoint a replacement if no alternate is designated)
It is important to allow yourself time to grieve the loss of your loved one. But the courts will expect the personal representative to begin acting on behalf of the estate very quickly. If you would like help, contact the Denver estate lawyers at The Brown Law Firm LLC for legal advice about the administration of wills. Contact us today: call (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online.