Older woman looking over her estate plan with attorney

What Does a Personal Representative Do?

Your Mom asks you if she can list you as the personal representative of her estate if she dies. You agree as you want to help if anything happens to her. But do you know what it means to handle the role of personal representative?

In Minnesota probate, as the personal representative (also known as an executor or administrator) for your mom’s estate, you are responsible for managing her estate. What does that mean?

As the Personal Representative your duties and responsibilities may include:

Gathering and safeguarding the assets of the estate: In Minnesota, the personal representative is responsible for identifying and collecting all the assets of the deceased, such as bank accounts, real estate, personal property, and investments. You must also ensure that these assets are properly safeguarded.

Paying off debts and taxes: You must also identify and pay off any legitimate outstanding debts or taxes owed by your mom, using funds from the estate.

Distributing assets to heirs and beneficiaries: Once all debts and taxes have been paid, you then distribute the remaining assets of the estate to the beneficiaries named in your mother’s will, or to their heirs if there is no will.

Filing court documents and providing reports: A personal representative must file all necessary court documents and provide regular reports to the court, and heirs or beneficiaries, regarding the status of the estate.

Communicating with beneficiaries and heirs: You will need to communicate with the beneficiaries and heirs of the estate, keeping them informed of the progress of the probate process and answering any questions they may have.

Overall, as personal representative, you play a critical role in ensuring that your mother’s wishes are carried out and that her assets are distributed fairly and legally. It is a big responsibility. What happens if you mishandle the estate? We will discuss that in the next post.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your role as a personal representative, contact our firm now.