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600 Alexander Road, Suite 1-1, Princeton, New Jersey 08540

DUTIES OF THE PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE

The requirements of Personal Representative or Administrator are varied and sometimes technical. The duties include:

  1. File the original Will with the Register of Wills in the decedent’s County;
  2. Qualify as the Executor;
  3. Pay the necessary probate fees based upon your assessment of the assets in the estate;
  4. Send the statutorily required notice to all the heirs and next of kin;
  5. Advertise a legal notice of the probate matter in the official legal publication and a local newspaper;
  6. Open an estate account;
  7. Obtain official values of each bank account as of the date of death;
  8. Analyze and pay the appropriate debts of the decedent in order of priority;
  9. Manage the assets passing outside the probate estate;
  10. Gather assets from different banks and investment companies which must flow to the estate;
  11. Prepare and file an inventory of the decedent’s probate assets within the statutory deadline;
  12. Sort out the personal effects in the home, and obtain appraisals of valuable assets;
  13. If appropriate, list all real estate holdings for sale;
  14. File the Inheritance Estate Tax Return;
  15. Pay the Inheritance Tax, if applicable;
  16. File the Federal Estate Tax Return and pay the required tax, if applicable;
  17. File the last income tax returns of the decedent;
  18. Prepare an accounting showing the assets and liabilities of the estate, if necessary;
  19. In most cases, prepare a ‘Family Settlement Agreement’ executed by all the beneficiaries;
  20. File the income tax return attributable to the estate earnings;
  21. Obtain releases from the heirs;
  22. Distribute the net estate proceeds to the beneficiaries;

Some of our clients choose to perform these tasks themselves, but many others prefer to let our office take on the responsibility of managing these matters on their behalf and handle the whole process for them. This is especially true of Executors who are out of State, or unable to devote enough time to this matter.

Personal Representatives who attempt to handle the estate without professional help can make mistakes and are open to lawsuits from beneficiaries for mishandling or misappropriating funds, whether knowingly or not. Our task is to protect the Personal Representative from liability both from creditors and from heirs, and to satisfy the requirements of the county where the decedent lived.

We will prepare the Petition for Probate, and help you qualify as Executor with the local Register of Wills, either in person or remotely. We generally prepare all the documents before the swearing-in ceremony, so the Register of Wills is prepared to issue the Letters Testamentary and Executor’s Certificate immediately. If the Register of Wills requires a Bond, we can help you secure one.

Throughout the process we remain available to answer questions and guide you through the technical aspects of the matter