How Personal Representatives Can Avoid Hot Water in Estate Administration

The Gormley Law Office is pleased to present this information! We are a probate and estate litigation firm in Kensington, Maryland. We handle cases in Washington, DC and across Maryland. If you need help with a probate matter, call us today or send us a message through our website below. We’re here to help, and there’s no cost for the initial consultation.

We typically represent heirs who have petitioned the probate court to remove the personal representative from their role. From that perspective, we see a lot of things that personal representatives do wrong. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to stay out of trouble while discharging your duties as a personal representative.

If you’ve been appointed as a personal representative, the first tip we have is to make sure you can handle the role. As we’ve discussed before, the role of a personal representative is a fiduciary role, which means you have responsibilities to the heirs. If you have any concerns about your ability to manage the estate and distribute the assets, consult with an attorney and/or hire one to represent you in the estate matter.

If you breach your duties as personal representative, you could be held personally liable for damages or be subject to criminal prosecution. It’s better to realistically assess your capability to handle these situations before you accept the appointment, and if you need help, get help from a probate attorney.

Here are some examples of how personal representatives can stay out of trouble while administering a probate estate:

1)         Don’t breach your financial duties. This means you must protect the assets, keep them safeguarded, follow state laws and act in an ethical, transparent manner.

2)         Don’t mismanage the estate. Don’t miss filing timelines and skip over important paperwork.

3)         Don’t embezzle money from the estate. Don’t take money or property from the estate for your personal use.

4)         Don’t neglect the estate. This means you must take care of the assets and property while the estate is administered.

Again, this list is not all-inclusive, and we recommend you get good advice from a probate attorney before you accept an appointment.

If you have been appointed personal representative of an estate, the Gormley Law Office can help you administer the estate of your loved one. We help people every day with estate administration in Washington, DC and in Maryland. Call us today!

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Probate, Estate Planning and Real Estate Attorney
Brian Gormley, Esq. is an attorney licensed in Maryland and the District of Columbia specializing in real estate, probate, estate litigation and other matters. If you need assistance, please use the Contact Feature at the bottom of this page.
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