What does the personal representative do?
Once a personal representative has been formally appointed and received the letters testamentary or the letters of administration, he or she must gather together all of the probate property, which can oftentimes be a major undertaking. Once all of the probate property has been gathered, the personal representative must take an inventory of the probate assets, determine their value and sell any assets that need to be sold (for example, if creditors need to be paid off). Once the personal representative has ensured than any of the deceased creditors have been paid off, the remaining property should be distributed pursuant to the deceased’s will (if there is one) or the state intestacy statutes.
Once all of the probate estate has been properly distributed and disposed of, the personal representative must go back to court to have the estate formally closed, which relieves the personal representative of any further duties or responsibilities.