Step 1: Breath
Your first instinct may be to jump right in as a personal representative, but this is a mistake. Without fully understanding the obligations of being a personal representative, you can become easily overwhelmed and ineffective – like running through a maze blindfolded. It is essential to know the steps of your role to be the best Ann Arbor personal representative you can be.
Step 2: Understand the role of an Ann Arbor personal representative
First things first – what is a “personal representative”? A personal representative is an individual that is appointed to distribute the property and assets of the decedent after they have passed as well as pay the decedent’s remaining debts to creditors. There is the filing of “Acceptance of Appointment” form, then the court will send you the “Letters of Authority for Personal Representative, ” and that is essentially the permission slip you need for you to begin your job and notify you of any restrictions that court has placed on you. Next, Michigan law requires that you notify all beneficiaries, heirs, trustees, and creditors that you have been appointed as the personal representative. Then, you must take inventory of the decedent’s estate. In order to complete this step to the best of your abilities, you will need accounting and legal help to ensure that you are following protocol.
Step 3: Finding the right legal representation
Believe it or not: your primary role is to be a compromiser. During the probate process, beneficiaries can contest the will and seek to be further compensated. Especially if you are also a beneficiary, other members will assume that you are making decisions that will best benefit yourself. The key to a successful probate process (and avoiding lengthy court proceedings) is to hire a probate lawyer that will help you to strategically keep open communication with beneficiaries and reach compromises that will be necessary to complete the probate process.
Step 4: Success
Although being a personal representative can be complex, it doesn’t have to be. In getting the professional help of a probate lawyer in Ann Arbor, you can have the power to be the best personal representative for your loved one’s estate.