Becoming a decedent’s personal representative is a very important appointment. As a personal representative, a person’s estate and assets are under your control. The duties associated with taking on this position are serious and should be treated as such. Someone who is interested in becoming a personal representative and/or is still unclear on the duties related to the role, should contact an experienced probate attorney in DC to learn more.
Important Considerations for DC Personal Representatives
It is important to understand your duties as personal representative before petitioning to be appointed. Serving as a personal representative can be a time consuming, paperwork intensive task. Serving as personal representative does not give you any rights to receive the assets of the estate, rather a personal representative has the fiduciary obligation to manage the estate assets for the beneficiaries of the estate.
Estate administration can be a paperwork intensive and detail oriented task. Good record keeping is often key to a smooth estate administration. Estate administration takes on average about a year to complete. The personal representative is tasked with marshaling all of the estate assets. A personal representative, with the assistance of experienced counsel in DC probate cases, values all of the assets as of the date of death. In addition, he or she will review, consider, and pay legally enforceable debts. After all expenses and debts are paid, the personal representative makes distribution pursuant to D.C. law or the provisions in the decedent’s last will and testament.
Rewards and Frustrations
Some personal representatives have expressed what they find rewarding is that they feel as if it is their final connection to their loved one who has passed away. Personal representatives sometimes feel as if they are working to put their loved one’s final wishes into action and into motion.
Being a personal representative can be a thankless job where the person takes a large burden of administering an estate, doing paperwork, and making day to day decisions to keep the estate running.
Personal representatives have expressed frustration in dealing with banking and brokerage institutions to marshal assets. Some clients do not have a clear idea of what assets there were before somebody passed away so they are on a hunting mission to locate the assets. Another frustrating factor personal representatives is dealing with all of their family personalities at one time.
DC probate attorneys understand the frustrations and can assist with alleviating the burden for the personal representative as much as possible so that the process is streamlined and efficient and the estate is closed in a timely manner. Once the estate administration process is complete, families can begin to fully grieve and heal after the loss of their loved one.
A DC Probate Lawyer Can Help
An attorney can assist the personal representative throughout the entire process, and offer guidance to make the administration process efficient. A DC probate attorney can also assist with the necessary pleadings to have the personal representative appointed, prepare the inventory and accounting. Since the