An Executor is the person named in a Will or appointed by the Probate Court to control or manage a person’s property after their death. In Michigan, an Executor is called a Personal Representative.
There are various steps that need to be taken by a Personal Representative, and they need to be taken relatively quickly, so a person who has been selected as a Personal Representative must be prepared. The more organized that you can be during your own estate planning process, the easier it will be to pass on your plans for probate in the future.
The following steps need to be taken by the Personal Representative:
- Collecting and protecting assets in the estate
- Preparing an inventory
- Getting appraisals
- Managing estate assets
- Paying claims and administration expenses
- Filing required tax returns
- Distributing assets to the beneficiaries
You may have recently found out from a loved one before he or she passed away that you were named as the Personal Representative under their Will. But you might have hesitations about handling this responsibility after you discover what is involved. Maybe you are wondering if you should take this on.
You need to make a decision promptly because letting time pass by could lead to unnecessary delays in actually settling the estate. In the event that you choose not to serve as the Personal Representative of the estate, the court will be responsible for appointing someone else to serve, unless the will established by the decedent designates an alternative executor. If you do decide to serve, you need to notify the attorney who drafted the will or an attorney of your own choice to assist you with filing the petition for probate.
When choosing someone to serve as a Personal Representative, you want to ensure that the chosen person will feel comfortable and confident in serving in this role when the time comes.