Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Seven Things Personal Estate Representatives Should Avoid Doing

Estate planningWhen acting as a personal representative for a decedents estate there are things that you need to remember not to do.  Here is a list of seven things a personal estate representative should avoid doing:

  1. Avoid early distribution of assets. Make sure to make a full assessment of potential claims the estate could face.
  2. Do not spend estate assets on personal expenses.  This should be self-explanatory, but some people may need a reminder of why this would be a bad idea.
  3. Never ignore tax issues.  Tax liabilities can pile up, so it is always important to stay on top paying them.
  4. Obey court orders.  A personal representative has to submit to the jurisdiction of the court and disobeying court orders can open him or her up to personal liability.
  5. Do not distribute funds until all bills are paid. It can often be difficult to get money back from somebody once it has been paid out. 
  6. Do not ignore any claims.  It is a good idea to stay on top of any potential claims that you might face.
  7. Do not go forward without seeking attorney advice.  Seeking out expert advice from somebody who understands probate law can be a good strategy.

See Unique Estate Law Blog, What [Not] To Do After A Death: Seven Things Personal Representatives Should Never Do, Wealth Management, June 1, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention.  


Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Income Tax, Non-Probate Assets, Trusts, Wills | Permalink


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