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I Have Been Named as Personal Representative – Now What?

Weber Law April 5, 2014

When someone that you love passes away, you may be able to take some comfort in doing things like arranging for their funeral and burial.  As strange as that may sound, many people report that they are happy to do this because they are able to have an active role in helping their loved one, even after they have passed. If the will of your deceased friend or relative lists you as the personal representative of their estate, you have a unique opportunity to be of assistance to the deceased by attending to their final affairs.

As much of an honor as it is to be appointed as a personal representative, it is important to understand that the position involves a great deal of work and a high level of responsibility.  If you are unfamiliar with the probate process, you may wonder how you will be able to carry out the duties of a personal representative on top of all of the other responsibilities that you have in your day to day life. One way to shoulder the responsibilities of being a personal administrator and balance them with your existing responsibilities is to enlist the assistance of a Kansas probate attorney.

The work of a personal representative includes a diverse array of tasks including collecting and managing the assets of the deceased, filing a final tax return, paying the debts and final expenses of the deceased, and keeping the beneficiaries of the estate informed of your activities as well as answering all of their questions. If this seems like a lot of work, it certainly is. Sharing the work with a Kansas probate attorney can help you to carry out the wishes of the deceased without feeling like you are bearing all of the weight of the responsibilities involved.

In addition to the sheer amount and diversity of the responsibilities that are required of personal representatives during the probate process, there is the additional pressure of time. Probate proceedings are expected to be completed about six months after they begin, so serving as a personal representative entails fulfilling your responsibilities within a relatively short amount of time. If you are employed, have a family, or both, it is easy to see how having some help with your personal representative duties is essential to being able to fulfill them on time.

Sometimes, it may seem as if the estate that you have been named the personal representative of is simple and straightforward. While this is sometimes true, sometimes situations arise that can complicate things. Even if you have already started carrying out the responsibilities of administering the estate, consulting with a Kansas probate attorney can help you to navigate challenging situations and make sense of things that seem unclear.

It is an honor to be appointed as the personal representative of an estate. It can also be confusing, emotional, and time consuming. A knowledgeable Kansas probate attorney can help you to handle the responsibilities that come with the honor of being appointed as a personal representative. Contact the law office of J. Joseph Weber, P.A. online or call us for an initial consultation. Our Wichita office is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We also offer weekend and evening hours by appointment.