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What are the Responsibilities of a Personal Representative?

February 19, 2021 by in Blog


Generally assigned within your will or trust, a personal representative is an individual or institution that you select to administer the particulars of your estate. This means that your personal representative is required to adhere to the instructions and guidelines provided in your will and trust as closely and as efficiently as possible. If you have established your domicile in Florida – meaning that you created your will or trust within the state – then your personal representative is bound to Florida’s laws. Working alongside a knowledgeable Melbourne estate planning lawyer to select a personal representative will ensure that your estate is well administered upon your passing.

How exactly would a personal representative effectively administer an estate?  To successfully manage an estate, the personal representative will need to pay close attention to the terms of your plan and ensure they are adhering to them as closely as possible or face being sued. Below, we review what you should expect from your personal representative. 

What Does a Personal Representative Do?

A personal representative will be responsible for opening the estate, collecting its assets, protecting its property, and paying various expenses associated with it, such as debts and taxes. Upon your passing, your personal representative will also be tasked with distributing the estate’s assets to their new owners, as provided by the terms of your will or trust. 


Who can serve as your personal representative depends on the circumstances surrounding your estate plan. For example, if you created a will or trust before your passing and named either an executor or a personal representative, that person will become your personal representative. Otherwise, your spouse, one of your heirs, or one of the beneficiaries named in your will or trust would assume the responsibility of becoming your personal representative. If neither of those options is available to you, then your creditors would appoint a personal representative to your estate.

Usually, most people opt for naming a neutral party as their personal representative. This ensures that someone without a stake in the outcome of the estate’s distribution can oversee how it is distributed and later administered upon your passing. Most people prefer to appoint their Melbourne estate planning lawyer, a financial or accounting professional they have worked with long-term, or an otherwise trusted advisor to oversee their estate.

Work with a Melbourne Estate Planning Lawyer to Get Started

Even if you’re unsure of whom you would like to administer the details of your estate, you can begin speaking with an experienced Melbourne estate planning lawyer to work out the details of your estate plan and determine who would be the most appropriate personal representative to administer its contents. Contact our offices today.