Welcome back to our Maryland probate series, presented by the Gormley Law Firm! This is part 9 of our series, and in this post we’re talking about personal representatives and their responsibilities when it comes to administering an estate. If you’ve missed any of our previous posts, we’ve prepared this handy index with links to all of our content, and we’ve also posted an entire series on the probate process in Washington, DC.
Being named as Personal Representative can be a big deal, and it’s important to discuss this with the person you’re considering naming before you finalize your documents. For starters, this person should be familiar with what you want done with your assets after you die, and also because it can be a lot of responsibility.
The Personal Representative of your estate is responsible for carrying out your final wishes after your death. You may want to give them a copy of your will and let them know when you make changes (codicils).
The Personal Representative of an estate has a fiduciary obligation to distribute your assets and close the estate as promptly as possible and in accordance with the terms of the will or the laws of intestacy. This is a trusted position, held to the highest standard of care under the law, and the person serving as Personal Representative may be held personally liable if the estate is not settled properly.
Additionally, the Personal Representative is tasked with handling things like receiving and holding assets, depositing funds, satisfying charitable pledges made by the decedent, paying or compromising claims, paying funeral expenses and other debts or expenses, paying taxes, insuring property, investing or selling property, continuing a business, performing contracts entered into by the decedent, employing specialists to advise or assist, and making partial or final distributions during the administration of the estate.
Also, the Personal Representative has a statutory obligation to timely file all required documents, comply with all court orders, and give proper notice to interested persons when necessary.
If you’ve been appointed as Personal Representative for a loved one or close friend and are overwhelmed by the responsibility, give us a call! The Gormley Law Office is a full-service probate law firm, and we frequently represent Personal Representatives. We complete the necessary paperwork on their behalf and ensure the estate is settled promptly. Call us today at 1.240.514.2358 for your free consultation!