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California Probate, Will & Trust Lawyer > Blog > Probate > A Simple Guide To Help You Serve As A Personal Representative

A Simple Guide To Help You Serve As A Personal Representative


Being named the executor of a will can be an exciting thing. However, the reality is that the job of a personal representative is not an easy one. If you are the executor of your deceased loved one’s will, you should know that you have a significant role ahead of you. Despite the grief you’re feeling for losing a loved one, it is your duty to bring the family together and ensure that the decedent’s wishes are administered. It is also your job to ensure that while you are doing this, the decedent’s assets and property remain protected.

Below is a simple guide to help you serve as the personal representative of your loved one’s estate.

Thing You Will Need as Personal Representative

If you are the executor of a loved one’s will, the following are some of the most crucial things you will need:

  1. Information – Before you can begin administering your loved one’s estate, you will need to gather information. For example, you will need to determine which assets are subject to probate. In California, probate assets generally include any real estate property or personal property that a decedent owned individually before their passing.
  1. Assistance – As the personal representative of your deceased loved one’s estate, you will also need help, especially from a skilled probate attorney. The California probate process can be demanding and complex, and any mistake during the process can cost you. An attorney can help you handle, among other things, legal filings, objections by beneficiaries, creditor claims, tax issues, and the distribution of assets.
  1. Time – If you are the personal representative of a loved one’s estate, be prepared to spend a good amount of time administering the estate. Depending on several factors, it can take up to years to administer a California estate.
  1. Organizational Skills – With all the work you will be doing as the personal representative, and considering you’ll be required to maintain good records during the entire probate process, you need to possess organizational skills.
  1. Communication Skills – One of your primary duties as a personal representative is facilitating communication. Remember, every family member is dealing with a loss, so misunderstandings are bound to arise.

It is imperative to keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of the things you will need as a personal representative. An attorney can help you understand everything you need as a personal representative.

Ensure You Hire the Right Probate Attorney

Hiring the right attorney can help you ensure you successfully administer your loved one’s estate. It is advisable that you retain an attorney who is, among other things, experienced and reasonable. Remember, the right probate attorney is not necessarily the one who drew up your deceased loved one’s will. Just because your loved one hired a particular lawyer does not mean you are obligated to hire the same lawyer to represent the estate. If, for whatever reason, you feel you need to hire another lawyer, feel free to do so.

Contact The Probate Guy for Help

If you are the personal representative of a deceased loved one’s estate and need help with the probate process, feel free to contact the dedicated California probate attorney, Robert L. Cohen – The Probate Guy – to schedule a telephonic consultation.


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I love being a probate attorney. I love helping people through a very difficult time in their lives with the probate process. My practice focuses solely on probate matters. My job is to complete the probate process as efficiently and painlessly for my clients as possible. I have found that paying the upfront costs of probate adds unneeded stress, so I will advance all of the fees and costs for the probate. No money is required to complete the probate. I will be reimbursed at the end of the case when you receive your inheritance. Call me NOW to discuss your case for free.

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