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What is a personal representative for estate administration?

Most Kent area residents understand the importance of estate planning. These matters should not wait and are critically important. Part of an estate plan is appointing a personal representative. A personal representative helps with estate administration and carrying out the deceased's wishes.

When a family is going through the estate planning process, it is often recommended that they choose a personal representative. A personal representative has many important roles.

First, the personal representative needs to know where important estate planning documents are kept. They should be given the code for the safe, if kept in a safe, and should have a list of all the documents. If the testator has online accounts, passwords for all of those accounts should also be saved for the personal representative.

Upon the testator's death, the personal representative needs to prepare an inventory of the testator's holdings. The list should include the holdings and the value of these holdings on the day of death.

As soon as possible, the personal representative should also notify all important parties of the person's death. They need to notify credit card companies, social security, insurance agencies, banks, etc.

They also need to pay the bills for the deceased, including their mortgage and utilities. A personal representative will also need to file the descendant's last tax return. Finally, after all of this completed, a personal representative will be in charge of the distribution of assets among the heirs.

A personal representative has an important role to play in an estate. It is important they be chosen carefully.

Source: The Enterprise, "Cutter family finances: Serving as personal representative? Make sure you know the role," Jeffrey Cutter, Jan. 26, 2017

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To speak with an attorney at Gellner Law Group about estate planning, probate, trusts, wills or tax controversy, contact our law office in Kent, Washington, today. You can call 425-336-2908 or send us an email. We provide representation across the entire Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area.

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