So, you were named a Probate Personal Representative. What now?
It all sounds straightforward enough when you agree, or maybe you just found out, that you have been named as the Personal Representative of a loved one’s estate. That is a bit daunting but just wait…it gets better. If you have never been a personal representative, you are in for one steep learning curve. It is not just reading the will and doling out the assets. As you will quickly learn there is a lot more to it than you ever imagined. There are time frames that must be met, attorneys and accountants to hire, safeguarding the assets of the estate, making sure there is adequate insurance in place for both real and personal property, notices to financial institutions, reviewing books, files current business interests and petitions to the court.
If that is not enough, think of the research necessary to identify all the sources of insurance, cash and then inventory and appraise the household goods and securing valuables. You will be required to arrange proper supervision and management of ongoing business entities, obtain custody of securities and collect all interest and dividends. You will be required to evaluate and determine the viability of continuing the business operations or whether to liquidate or sale the business.
You may even have to research valuable collections and determine method and time of sale for articles not bequeathed. You will also be required to make sure all debts are paid including the filing and paying income taxes. Chose your accountant and attorney carefully as they are an integral part of your team and can help with many of these tasks but remember…they charge for all their time and expenses. You will be required to settle outstanding claims, juggle the family dynamics and are required to have an accurate accounting of all expenses and assets.
Now, what if the estate owns property or properties? Yes, you will be required to inventory all personal items, clear them from the properties, and sell the properties. Is this all sounding very over-whelming? Let me give you a little bright spot in your Probate day. When it comes to real estate, your friendly and knowledgeable CPRES (Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist) is here to help. Not only will we provide you with a necessary PCMA (Probate Comparative Market Analysis) which your accountant will need but we also have a team of professionals to make your life a lot easier. We are a great sounding board and will have contacts to help with inventory, estate sales, handyman services, maintenance services, cleaning services, yard care and pretty much anything else to need regarding real property. When it comes time to sell the property or properties we handle the staging of the home, photos and virtual tours, access to the home, marketing, contract negotiations all the way to close to make your life a bit easier.
Are you breathing a little easier now? And to think, as a CPRES Realtor, in addition to listing and selling the property you get access and assistance to the other trades at no additional cost (Trades have their own pricing). The tradespeople I use always do a good job for me and my client otherwise they are off the list. Let me take some of the details off your plate and be part of your Probate team. I make sure I introduce myself to your attorney and accountant to make sure documents are completed in a timely manner and with all the pertinent information the first time to reduce stress all around.
I have developed some excellent handouts that outline the Personal Representatives Duties during Probate, the Probate Timeline, Probate Glossary and several others. I offer these complimentary to anyone going through the Probate process. Why not call me today and let me help you!