Probate is a legal court process which is used to determine the validity of the last will and testament of a deceased person. The probate court is in charge of the process of probate.
The executor or personal representative of the estate is a person which was named in the will by the testator. The executor or personal representative has various duties and responsibilities to the estate.
Duties of a Utah probate personal Representative
Just as it is in every other state, in Utah the probate personal representative who is also known as the executor has numerous responsibilities to the estate. He is obligated to handle the affairs of the estate to the best of his ability to represent the interest of the heirs of the estate.
The duties of the personal representative includes
Taking possession of the decedent’s property; the personal representative of the estate takes possession of the deceased’s property except the will says otherwise. It is also possible for the personal representative to leave the properties to a person that is presumed to be entitled to the property. The person has possession of the properties till the representative needs the properties to administer the estate.
Paying of taxes and other bills; taxes like estate taxes are settled by the probate personal representative
Enlisting probate assets; within three months of the appointment of the probate personal representative, he makes an inventory of the assets in the estate of the deceased person. He enlists each asset in such a way that they are very detailed. For cases were some of the assets of the estate were appraised, the inventory is expected to contain the name and address of the appraiser. Each of these assets should contain certain information such as
- Its fair market value on the date of the decedent’s death
- The type and amount of any mortgage, lien, or other encumbrance, if any, against that item
The next thing he does is to file the inventory to the court; he also gives to any person interested in the inventory.
Lastly, he prepares a supplementary list which includes assets which were omitted in the original list but has come to the knowledge of the probate representative. The supplementary list corrects every error which was made in the original list.
Notify creditor; another duty of the personal representative is to send a notice to creditors of the estate notifying them of the personal representative’s appointment and address and state that creditors of the estate should present their claims within three months after the date of the first publication of the notice or be forever barred. He notifies them via a public newspaper in the local county where the probate is filed.
He regulate the process of settling the creditors by deciding which creditor’s claim to allow and those not to allow.
He follows the order below to settle the creditors
- reasonable funeral expenses;
- costs and expenses of administering the estate;
- debts and taxes with preference under federal law;
- reasonable and necessary medical and hospital expenses of the last illness of the decedent, including compensation of persons attending him;
- debts and taxes with preference under other Utah law; and
- All other claims.
The personal representative also has the duty to file any applicable tax returns and pay any applicable taxes Applicable tax returns will include the decedent’s final federal and state income tax returns and may also include, depending on the circumstances, federal and state income tax returns for the decedent’s estate, federal and state gift tax returns, or federal and state estate tax returns.
Question: is the probate representative an executor?
Answer: the probate personal representative serves similar roles as the executor does. They both represent the interest of the estate and see to it that the process of probate is smoothly ruined and is successful.
Role of an attorney
Often, there might be need for clarifications or assistance and this support can only be given by a probate attorney. So the need of a probate attorney can never be ruled out. If you are the personal representative of an estate and you need to either consult or hire an attorney do well to contact us today as our attorneys are always available.