Tips for Personal Representatives of an EstateIf you have been named as Personal Representative (or Executor) of an estate and your loved one has passed away, here are some things you should know to help you get off to a good start on your duties.  

First, locate the decedent’s will. Check the lock and safety deposit boxes the decedent may have to see if the will is there. If not, contact the decedent’s attorney or financial advisor to locate it.  

Next, begin to secure all personal property belonging to the decedent. This includes anything you can see and touch that the decedent owned, from silverware to furnishings. You will want to create an inventory of personal property and make a note of any property that has been devised for a beneficiary through the will. You would be wise to hold off on making any distributions of the personal property until the estate has been properly settled.   

Next, if your loved one has received a social security payment for the month of their death, it will need to be returned. If the Social Security Administration does not automatically rescind the payment, it will need to be paid back. Contact the Social Security Administration to avoid problems down the road.   

Next, consult with a probate attorney to get the case filed and open in the courts. The probate attorney will represent you throughout the process and ensure you follow the law when administering the estate.   

Finally, allow time for grieving and being with family following the death of a loved one. Except for depositing the will with the court, there are no requirements to start the proceedings immediately. Take time to grieve and process your loss. Then, you can handle business when you are ready and able to do so.   

We specialize in educating and helping you protect what you have for the people you love the most. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.


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