So, you have been appointed the personal representative. Oh my!  Now, what is my next step? Specifically, what are the responsibilities as Personal Representative? After reading this exhaustive list, you may feel completely exhausted! If so, give The Probate Pro a call at (248) 399-3300 and we can guide you through the process. Ensure that you are performing all of the responsibilities as Personal Representative timely and pursuant to Michigan law.

 Responsibilities as Personal Representative: Record Keeping

The following is a list of tasks that are part of the responsibilities as Personal Representative. The following is not an complete list.

  • Contact an attorney to assist you. Probate is confusing. The Probate Pro takes great pride at making this confusing process easy to understand.
  • Responsibilities as Personal RepresentativeFile a change of address request with the United States Post Office to receive the decedent’s mail.
  • Create a file for the decedent estate. Keep organized!

Keep the following documents in decedent file:

All petitions, Letters of Authority, Inventories, fiduciary Bonds, Notices of Continued Administration,
Accounts, Guardian ad Litem (GAL) reports, correspondences and closing papers.

Responsibilities as Personal Representative: Finances
  • There should be one bank account for the decedent with the following caption: “Estate of {John Doe}, deceased}.
  • When closing the decedent’s account and opening a new one, keep all opening and closing documents.
  • All checks payable to the decedent must be deposited into the fiduciary bank account.
  • Open all bank statements and other statements immediately to identify any irregularities.
  • All checks must be hand signed by the fiduciary.
  • Never use a signature stamp. Do not allow anyone else to sign checks. Keep in secure location.
  • Keep a copy of all monthly bank statements, all checks written, and all receipts. Maintain impeccable records.
  • When closing the decedent’s banks account(s) and opening a new one, keep the closing documents.
  • All spending must only be used for the administration of the estate {payment of claims, inventory fees, attorney fees, etc.) and\or payment of heirs or devisees for their share of the estate.
  • If there is a question about expenditure, file a petition with the court to obtain court approval.
  • Demand and obtain written bills before making any payments.
  • Computerized records must be backed up and stored in at least one other location.
Responsibilities as Personal Representative: Creditor Claims

In almost all cases, notice to the decedent’s creditors must be published in a newspaper. If you know of specific creditors of the decedent, they must be given a Notice to Known Creditors form. You must determine what creditors’ claims, if any, should be paid. The estate cannot be closed if publication is required and was not done.

Responsibilities as Personal Representative: Inventory of Assets

Responsibilities as Personal RepresentativeThe law requires you to file an Inventory listing all the estate’s assets as of date of death within 91 days of the date you became personal representative. The Court will send you a notice and a blank Inventory form approximately a month before it is due. The Court will calculate the inventory fee; which the estate must pay within one year of the date you became Personal Representative. Failure to file the Inventory may lead to your suspension and\or the case being administratively closed.

Responsibilities as Personal Representative: Notice of Continued Administration

If the estate is not settled within 1 year after the first personal representative’s appointment, you must file with the court and send to each interested person a notice that the estate remains under administration, specifying the reasons for the continued administration. You must give this notice within 28 days of the first anniversary of the first personal representative’s appointment and all subsequent anniversaries during which the administration remains uncompleted. If such a notice is not received, an interested person may petition the court for a hearing on the necessity for continued administration or for closure of the estate. [MCL 700.3703(4), MCL 700.3951(3), MCR 5.144, MCR 5.307, MCR 5.310]

The law requires you to file a Notice of Continued Administration form each year the estate is open – it is due on the anniversary of the date you became personal representative. The Court will send you a notice and a blank Notice of Continued Administration form approximately a month before it is due. Failure to file the form may lead to your suspension as personal representative and\or the case being administratively closed.

Responsibilities as Personal Representative: Change of Address

If you fail to tell the court about an address and/or telephone number change for yourself or an interested person within 7 days, you could be suspended.

Responsibilities as Personal Representative: Inheritance Taxes

You are required to submit to the court proof that no estate (or inheritance) taxes are due or that the estate (or inheritance) taxes have been paid. Note: The estate may be subject to inheritance tax.

Responsibilities as Personal Representative: Duty to Complete Administration of the Estate

You must complete the administration of the estate and file appropriate closing papers with the court. Failure to do so may result in personal assessment of costs. [MCR 5.310]

The Probate Pro is here to help

The Probate Pro is here to help you with your Letters of Authority. It is critical that the attorney you hire is talented, smart, experienced and committed to your cause.

The Probate Pro Experience

Responsibilities as Personal RepresentativeThe Probate Pro has a huge staff of smart lawyers and paralegals to solve difficult issues. The Probate Pro is the largest law firm in Michigan practicing exclusively in probate related services.  Let our experience give you the edge.

Please call The Probate Pro at (248) 399-3300.