Does a personal representative pay debts for the estate?

On Behalf of | Jul 16, 2020 | Estate Planning

A personal representative has the obligation of finalizing an estate. If you take on this role for a family member or friend, then it is up to you to understand exactly what duties you have, which include how you must handle any outstanding debts.

The Washington Times Herald explains you will have the responsibility of tying up loose ends and ensuring the deceased meets all legal obligations.

Gather the information

Your first duty will be to get as much information as you can about any agreements, financial obligations, taxes and other debts the deceased may have. You may need to talk with creditors and give them notice of the debtor’s death. You will have to secure final bills from all creditors.

Do not forget to include those that may occur after the person’s death, such as the expenses for a funeral or final medical bills.

You may need to work with an accountant to figure out what the estate owes. You should create a comprehensive list of debts for the court.

Identify the amount owed

You will need to calculate the total cost for all debts. You can then begin to calculate how to pay them. You may need to sell assets or take other steps to ensure the estate has enough money to pay all money owed. This may mean that you have to make decisions on your own outside of the instructions left by the deceased. It is essential to keep good records of money you spend or assets you must liquidate so that you can provide proof of your actions to heirs who may question you.