Duties Of A Personal Representative In Massachusetts
One of the issues that is addressed in any comprehensive estate plan is the naming of a personal representative to handle the issues of the estate after a person passes away. The responsibilities of a personal representative are weighty and can seem overwhelming if a person does not understand what is expected of them under the law before agreeing to the task. At Fisher Law in Norwood, serving the Greater Boston area, our experienced estate planning lawyers are prepared to help you with the duties that come with being a personal representative of an estate. For more information, call or contact our office today to schedule a consultation.
Obtaining Legal Appointment
Under Massachusetts law, a personal representative has the duty to settle and distribute the estate of a deceased person according to the terms of their will under state law as quickly and efficiently as possible while maintaining the best interests of the estate. The first step in this process is to obtain a legal appointment by the probate court. While a person may appoint someone as their personal representative in their will, the court must also approve the selection. If no will exists, a person can request to be the personal representative, or the court may appoint someone close to the deceased. An attorney can help file the proper paperwork to officially become the personal representative of an estate.
Organizing Estate Finances
After the appointment is made official, the next step for the personal representative is to organize the finances of the estate. This means obtaining information about all the assets of the estate as well as all of the debts. One method of handling this step is to create a new bank account for the estate and transfer in all assets that have not been specifically bequeathed to heirs or beneficiaries. The personal representative must also notify any potential creditors that they must come forward with any claims against the estate. All debts must be paid before any remaining assets can be distributed to heirs.
The personal representative is also in charge of stopping subscriptions, filing taxes, and handling all other financial affairs for the estate while it is going through the probate process.
Distributing Assets of the Estate
One of the final tasks of a personal representative is to distribute the remaining assets of the estate to heirs. This can only happen after all debts are paid to creditors and all other financial affairs are settled. Distribution is often dictated per the terms of a will, but if no will exists then the assets are distributed according to the intestacy laws of the state. To learn more about the responsibilities of a personal representative in Massachusetts, talk to our office today.
Talk to Our Office Now
Do you have questions or concerns about the duties of a personal representative in Massachusetts? If so, the experienced and knowledgeable Norwood estate planning lawyers at Fisher Law are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to speak with one of our lawyers and schedule a consultation of your estate planning needs today.