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Personal Representative for Pocatello Estate Planning

Every Last Will and Testament includes a section where the individual names the person who will be their Personal Representative/Executor when they pass away. Our Pocatello Estate Planning Attorneys have helped individuals for over 70 years in preparing their estate planning documents including naming a Personal Representative. Our Lawyers in Pocatello create an experienced and knowledgeable team who has also worked with the Personal Representative. We have helped thousands of individuals who were named to complete their duties and responsibilities.

If you need help deciding who to name as your Personal Representative, or if you were named for someone else we can help you. Our job is to guide you through the duties and responsibilities you have. Additionally, we will help you understand and follow all applicable Idaho laws so that you can complete your duties. Our team is made up of partners, Randy Budge and Lane Erickson who have received the highest ratings for their ethics and legal ability as Idaho Estate Planning Attorneys. Our team also includes attorneys Nathan Palmer and Dave Bagley who are experts in taxation and complex estate planning issues.

To help you understand what a Personal Representative does and why they are important, here is a list of the 3 main responsibilities and duties they must carry out for you:

1. Protect Your Estate Assets and Property

The duties begin when a probate is filed. Simply put, a probate is the process where a court names who the Personal Representative is, and determines who the beneficiaries and heirs are. You can learn more about the probate process here.

Once a probate is begun, the first duty of the Personal Representative is to protect the estate assets and all of the property of the decedent. All of the property owned by the decedent at the time of death, both intangible and tangible, must be identified and accounted for. The estate takes possession and control of all of the decedent’s property so all of the assets can be protected. This is important because once appointed the Personal Representative is responsible to all of the potential heirs and beneficiaries of the decedent. Their job is to preserve and protect all of the decedent’s property. Inventories, account statements, and lists are all helpful in making sure that the decedent’s property and assets will be distributed to the rightful recipients either through the decedent’s written Last Will and Testament or through the laws of intestacy when there is no written Will.

With decades of experience, our Pocatello Estate Planning attorneys help individuals and families fulfill these responsibilities.

2. Receive and Resolve Claims From Your Creditors

In addition to preserving the decedent’ property and assets, the Personal Representative is also responsible to receive creditors’ claims. Once received, there is a duty to scrutinize each claim from a creditor to determine is legitimacy. If a claim is legitimate then there is a responsibility to resolve each valid claim. The statutory process in Idaho allows claims from unknown creditors to be be filed by so they can also be reviewed and if valid paid. This is important because all valid creditor’s claims must be paid before distributions of the decedent’s money and property are made to any heir or beneficiary.

The ability and opportunity to review each claim from a creditor is important because not all claims are valid. When it appears that a claim is not legitimate there is a duty to challenge the claim. When this is done the creditor is forced to provide additional proof and evidence before a judge in court to prove the validity of the debt. Through this process, the Court reviews the evidence and makes a decision about the claim stating that it is either valid or not. When a creditor properly proves the validity of a debt the Personal Representative pays the creditor from the assets in the estate so the debt is satisfied.

When a Personal Representative believes that challenging a debt may not be worth the time and money involved they can settle the claim with a creditor. This avoids the costs and expenses of going to court. They is given the power to make this decision. Our Pocatello lawyers are often asked to use their experience and knowledge in helping complete these duties.

3. Distribute Your Estate Assets to Your Beneficiaries

The third duty each Personal Representative has is to make the final distributions from the estate of the money, property and assets. This is done when the heirs and beneficiaries are identified. The action of distribution is really the most important part of the administration of the decedent’s estate. Each decedent either has a written Will or they do no. Under the terms of a written Will, individuals are named who will receive the decedent’s property. It is up to the Personal Representative to see that this is accomplished. When there is no written Will, the same duty exists, except that the individuals who will receive the decedent’s property are named in the statutes. Either way, the actual distribution of the decedent’s property must occur. This is what the Personal Representative does.

Enlist an Idaho Estate Planning Attorney to Help You

The duties and responsibilities of a Personal Representative are numerous and can be difficult to understand for those not familiar with the probate process. The Pocatello Estate Planning Attorneys at the Racine Law Office are here to help you and your family. We are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free consultation. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation with the Racine Olson team of attorneys in Pocatello. You can also email us directly at racine@racinelaw.net. We will answer your questions and will help you solve your Pocatello Estate Planning problems.

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