What Is a Personal Representative?

A personal representative is an individual or entity appointed to oversee the affairs of a deceased person's estate.

The personal representative is responsible for managing the estate during the probate process, which is the legal process of distributing the assets of the deceased person's estate to the heirs and beneficiaries.

The duties of a personal representative can include gathering and valuing the assets of the estate, paying off any debts owed by the estate, filing tax returns, and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will or the laws of the state if there is no will.

In addition to managing the estate of a deceased person, a personal representative may also be appointed to manage the affairs of a living person who cannot manage their affairs due to physical or mental incapacity. In this case, the personal representative is responsible for making decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person, such as managing their finances, paying their bills, and arranging their care.

To be appointed as a personal representative, an individual must usually be over 18 and have no criminal record or history of bankruptcy. They must also be willing and able to carry out the role's responsibilities, which can be time-consuming and require significant work.

Published: Sep 26, 2023

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

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This FAQ is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. We make no representations or warranties about this FAQ's completeness, accuracy, reliability, or suitability. Each legal situation is unique. Always consult an attorney for personalized guidance.

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