What does a Personal Representative do?
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A personal representative is in charge of handling all the affairs of the estate. What that means is they gather all the assets, figure out what debts there are, make sure that the debts are paid off, Then, from there, they have other requirements on what they're allowed to do and what they're not allowed to do.
A personal representative does not decide who gets to inherit from the estate. If someone has a will that says 50% goes to each of my kids, the personal representative doesn't get to change that. They do, however, get to decide what makes up that 50%. So if half the estate is in cash and half is in real estate, they can decide what to do with that. Does the house get sold and the cash divided? Does the house get given to one or both of the beneficiaries?
There are some decisions that the personal representative gets to make, but they have a responsibility to the estate and to the beneficiaries of the estate to act in a proper way and to look out for the best interests of the beneficiaries. So they're bound by what's called a fiduciary duty to look out for the best interests of the beneficiaries.
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This video is for informative purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice. Small details can have big consequences. Want to know more about Estate Planning, schedule a free consultation with us.