If you have read my blog titled “Estate Administration – The Process,” you understand that acting as a personal representative of an estate can be a tough job. The personal representative must properly manage and supervise the assets of the estate. This means you must act as a fiduciary and handle the assets responsibly, or you will have the court (and possibly the beneficiaries) to answer to!
Examples of things the personal representative must manage are:
- Selling estate assets (ex: estate sale) and maintaining money from said sale
- Depositing estate funds in a dedicated and separate account
- Place proper restrictions on accounts (retirement, insurance, or other estate accounts)
- Collecting upon any indebtedness
- Investing estate assets and funds of the estate wisely
- Performing on existing contracts of the decedent
- Removing unproductive estate property
- Opening up a estate administration if necessary
- Any other actions which benefit the estate, its creditors, and the beneficiaries
A personal representative must take these duties seriously. If he fails to do so, it is likely that he will be removed and may also be sued civilly (or even criminally), especially if estate assets were used for his own benefit. In other words, a personal representative cannot take out “personal loans” from the estate assets.
If you are appointed to be a personal representative, you should retain an experienced probate attorney like Robert L. Firth to assist you. There are numerous actions that you and your lawyer can do to insure and demonstrate that you are acting in the best interest of the estate.
If you live in the area of Cathedral City, California, and you need to speak with an attorney about bankruptcy, estate planning and probate, real estate tax deferred exchanges, small business services or another important legal matter, contact the law office of Robert L. Firth at 760-699-2892. We are committed to providing quality legal representation to individuals and businesses facing difficult legal challenges. Our firm believes in providing compassionate service at reasonable rates.