Responsibilities of the Estate Representative
Some major milestones that the Estate Representative is responsible for, include:
- Notifying and paying all Estate creditors
- Preparing and filing with the court an inventory of the Estate
- Maintaining the Estate property income-producing throughout the Probate administration process (or selling real property)
- Winding up or selling a decedent’s business
- Filing personal and Estate income tax returns
- Renting or selling real property
- Filing documents with the County Assessor regarding property tax reassessment (or applicable exclusions)
The Estate Representative is also responsible for filing a final Account with the court describing all that has been accomplished during the Probate administration and what assets are on hand for distribution. Upon a hearing and an approval of such Account, the court will issue an Order directing the distribution of the Estate, which the Estate Representative must follow to deliver the Estate assets to its intended Beneficiaries or heirs at law, and file Receipts on Distribution with the court, before the court can “discharge” the Estate Representative from his or her duties and close the case.
In the event of litigation (such as a Will contest), it is the Estate Representative’s duty to defend the Estate in court against such legal claims. If litigation erupts, the length of the Estate administration is usually much, much longer before final distribution can occur.
Fiduciary Duties of the Estate Representative
The Estate Representative occupies the position of a Fiduciary and has a number of duties not only to the court and the Beneficiaries/heirs, but also to the Estate’s creditors and government agencies (including tax authorities, etc.).
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