Personal Representative Duties, The Home, And Probate

Law Blog

Being appointed personal representative for the deceased is both an honor and a big responsibility. Also called an executor, the personal representative has several duties to attend to in the period following a death while the estate is being probated. One large job of the personal representative involves dealing with the family home of the deceased. Read on for a list of duties to expect after a death when dealing with a home.

  1. Take Inventory — One of the first duties the probate court requires of the personal representative is to perform an inventory of estate assets. As far as the home goes, that means a list of valuable property within the home and the grounds. Small and inexpensive items can be summarized but valuable items like artwork or collectibles should be listed in as much detail as possible.
  2. Schedule an Appraisal — The value of the estate is of prime importance to the probate court. In many cases, the home will need to be professionally appraised. Some states require that two independent appraisals are done. Any valuable items within the home should also be professionally appraised.
  3. Keep the Property Safe and Secure — The probate court is mindful of how the home and its contents make up a large portion of most decedents' estates. Therefore, the personal representative is tasked with ensuring that all property is kept safe and in good condition. This can include performing actions like changing the locks, repairing broken windows, fixing roof leaks, having the lawn mowed, and more.
  4. Make the Home Ready for Sale — If the home is to be sold, the personal representative is in charge of making the needed repairs and changes necessary to put it on the market. If the beneficiaries don't have plans to sell, this step is skipped.
  5. Home-Related Bills — Paying certain bills is important but more important is close communication with the estate lawyer before doing so. Some bills may never have to be paid, some must be paid first, and some can wait for a bit. When it comes to home equity loans, mortgages, property taxes, neighborhood association fees, and condo fees, a consultation with the lawyer is vital.
  6. Utilities — In most cases, the electricity (and gas, if pertinent), and water should be left on and other utilities turned off. Cable, internet, and phone service may no longer be needed. The money for paying these expenses does not come from the personal representative but from the estate account.

Personal representatives work alongside the probate lawyer during probate to take care of the primary residence of the deceased. Speak to a probate attorney to learn more.


28 July 2020

Car Accident Clues

It can be hard to know what to do to protect yourself legally in the immediate aftermath of a car accident. You’re liable to be disoriented or in shock, you may be injured, and you’re surely worried about your passenger or the other driver. At least, that’s how I felt. The thing is, the things you say and do in the immediate aftermath of an accident may affect a legal case later. Depending on who’s at fault and what the laws are in your state, you may want to sue the other driver for damages, or you may find yourself being sued. My blog is designed to give you tips for a car accident lawsuit, no matter which side you find yourself on.