Why a Personal Representative Needs a Probate Attorney in Lee County

If you have been named a personal representative in someone’s will, you should consider it a great honor.  This means that the individual trusts you to carry out the instructions in his or her will.  However, being a personal representative comes with great responsibility.  In some instances, you can be held personally liable if you make mistakes during the probate process.  A probate attorney in Lee County can explain the various requirements of this position.  Additionally, a probate attorney in Lee County can assist with some of the many tasks that you will have to take care of.

The personal representative is responsible for identifying and locating the decedent’s assets.  Some assets transfer outside the probate process such as assets that are transferred through a beneficiary designation form while others are part of the probate estate.  Beneficiary designation forms are commonly used with life insurance policies and retirement accounts.  Additionally, the personal representative must inform beneficiary and heirs of the decedent’s passing and the appointment of personal representative.  The personal representative is also responsible for identifying creditors and notifying them of their timeline to file a claim against the estate.

A probate attorney can advise the personal representative along the way.  Additionally, he or she can help the personal representative demonstrate his or her legal right to act on behalf of the estate.  A probate attorney may help file a federal and state tax return for the estate and open a checking account in the name of the estate in order to carry out these final tasks.  If a legal claim arises against the estate or the will is challenged, a probate attorney can provide legal advice about the options to responding to these claims.