In order to settle the estate of a deceased person, someone must be in charge of the many details and steps involved. When the deceased nominates someone in their will or trust, that person is called an executor or personal representative. However, if there is no individual specifically named in a legal document, the courts will appoint a personal representative.
Typically, the courts will follow this process in order to select the best person for the responsibility of administrator or co-administrators:
Personal Representatives are responsible for paying all bills and taxes, contacting interested parties, creating an inventory of assets (and having them appraised if necessary) and managing the asset distribution when the estate is settled. When the courts are deciding the best person to handle the intricacies of this role, they will take into consideration the following personal attributes:
- Organization: administrators have a lot of details to keep track of, so accurate record-keeping and organization will be extremely important.
- Impartiality: if there are family rifts, these must be put aside so the estate is distributed exactly as the deceased wished.
- Integrity: because the administrator will have direct access to the estate, it is important that the person chosen have good moral values and provide full disclosure of all transactions and payments received.
- Communication: an administrator role is not done in a vacuum; there will be a lot of interaction between the administrator and beneficiaries, the probate court, Social Security Administration, creditors and more. Excellent communication skills are necessary.
The person with priority for appointment as Personal Representative does not have to accept the role. It is possible to sign a renunciation to relinquish the duties to someone else who may be more qualified or interested in taking on this huge responsibility.
If you have been chosen as an estate administrator in Denver and are uncertain about your role, contact the Denver estate administration lawyers at Brown & Crona, LLC. We can help you understand your responsibilities and outline a strategy for making the process as streamlined and quick as possible. Contact us at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online to meet with our experts.