Estate Planning FAQ

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Estate Planning FAQ

When you are ready to plan out your estate, you should call experienced lawyers.  We have handled plans ranging from straightforward to those that are considerably complex. Regardless of your circumstances, Estate Planning Attorneys can help.

What is a Personal Representative in a Will and What is their Role?

When you set up your estate plan, you will be asked to name various fiduciaries. One of these people will be a personal representative. This is the person you name to be in charge of settling your estate upon your death. A personal representative might also be known as an executor, or executrix if she is a female, or an administrator when no will is involved.

The Role of a Personal Representative

Every state has its own laws about what the duties of a personal representative will be. The following is a general idea of his or her role. To learn about an exact description pertaining to your own situation, please call our estate planning lawyers.

Locating and Safeguarding Your Probate Assets: This will include your property that cannot be passed to a living individual without going through probate.

Obtaining Date of Death Values for Probate Assets: The personal representative may need to get appraisals of real estate, business interests, and other assets at the time of your death.

Obtaining Date of Death Values for Assets Not in Probate: If your estate owes state or federal taxes, a value for these assets must also be discovered. Beginning in 2018, the federal law changed so that only over $11.2 million for individuals and over $22.4 million for married couples will be subject to federal taxes.

Prepare and File Tax Returns: Personal income taxes, federal, and state taxes will need to be filed for the last year of the deceased’s life.

Paying Off the Expenses of Estate Administration: Prior to the probate process closes, any taxes, debts, or other relevant expenses must be paid. If cash is not available, the personal representative may be required to sell or liquidate assets.

Pay Off Debts to Creditors: The personal representative of an estate may be required to post a public notice of death. This is meant to notify companies or individuals to whom the deceased might have owed money.  It is possible for these entities or parties to make a claim to the estate for the amount owed.

Distribute the Balance of the Estate to All Beneficiaries: Once all debts, taxes, and expenses have been paid, the balance of the estate can be distributed. This could include the need to file documents with the court or attend a hearing in front of a judge.

The role of a personal representative is a very big responsibility and often consumes a great deal of his or her time. It is important that you carefully consider your options before naming someone for this duty. If you are at all unsure or have further questions, you can speak to an estate planning lawyer.

To schedule a consultation with an estate planning lawyer such as the Estate Planning lawyer Memphis, TN locals trust, call today.

 

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