The Personal Representative is the individual responsible for handling a decedent’s estate. There are many different duties required of a Personal Representative, and it is certainly not a job to take lightly. If you live in Minnesota and need an attorney to help you as a Personal Representative, we are here to help.
Determination of the Personal Representative
In the State of Minnesota, a Personal Representative is either appointed by a District Court Judge (in the case of formal probate) or by the Probate Registrar (in cases of informal probate). Oftentimes, the decedent will name a Personal Representative in his or her Will. When this is true, the Personal Representative (often called an executor) has to be approved by the courts or Probate Registrar. Generally, the executor is accepted by the court, unless he or she does not meet the statutory qualifications of the state. If there is no Will, then the courts will appoint a qualified individual to be the Personal Representative of the estate.
Duties of the Personal Representative
The Personal Representative has many responsibilities during the estate settlement. Essentially, this party has been trusted with all of the finances, property, assets, and affairs of the deceased. The Personal Representative is responsible for:
- The collection, inventory, and appraisal of the assets and property of the deceased;
- Protecting and preserving all assets;
- Paying taxes, interests, and debts of the decedent;
- Distributing the property and assets to the appropriate parties and heirs; and
- Closing the estate.
The Personal Representative will often begin the process by consulting the decedent’s Will (if one is present). He or she must then compile a detailed list of all of the heirs and devisees, including their ages, names, and addresses. The next step is usually to determine which assets are probate and which are non-probate. Once all of this is completed, the division of probate assets can take place.
The Personal Representative ultimately has the sole responsibility to make sure the entire estate is settled properly. Typically, an estate must be settled within 18 months, but an extension may be granted in some cases. Because this is such a large responsibility, we recommend seeking help from a qualified attorney during the process. Our lawyers are here to guide you through the estate settlement, and we will help you make sure that everything has been settled in a timely, and correct, manner.
If you have been named a Personal Representative, or if you have questions about the process, our attorneys are here to help you. We have guided many Personal Representatives through settlement of an estate. Contact the Brown Law Offices, P.A. today for a free consultation. Please call 763-323-6555 to speak with one of our lawyers.