Personal Representative Frequently Asked Questions

by | Jun 9, 2021

Frequently asked questions, and the answers to those questions.
Holding hands

What is a Personal Representative Deed?

When someone dies owning an interest in real estate, the legal instrument used to transfer the property to either a buyer or a beneficiary is a Personal Representative Deed. This provides essential information about the specific probate estate and related property transfer in one document.

How long does a Personal Representative have to settle an estate?

Because every estate is different, the timeline it takes to settle an estate varies. If an estate has only a few, easy-to-find assets, it may be all wrapped up in six to eight months. However, more complicated estates may take a year to several years to fully settle. In Colorado, the probate process takes a minimum of six months.

What does a Personal Representative get paid?

A Personal Representative is typically entitled to be paid for their services. The Will of the decedent generally outlines how much the Personal Representative should be paid.

Some individuals may choose to limit the fees to a specific dollar amount while others may choose to provide the payment of reasonable fees based upon state law. An additional option is to leave their Personal Representative a specific bequest instead of authorizing them to collect a fee. While fees are taxable, a bequest is nontaxable.

Denver Federal Court HouseCan you petition to become a Personal Representative?

If you fail to leave a Will, the court will appoint someone to handle your final affairs. If a Personal Representative has been named in a Will, and then feels unable to handle the time-consuming challenge of settling the estate, some states require that they must petition the court for removal so someone else can take over.

Beneficiaries of a Will also have a right to contest a Will and object to the Personal Representative the decedent named in the Will. This usually results in a trail, where a judge will make the ultimate decision as to who will serve as Personal Representative. The court would then appoint either the Personal Representative in the Will or a party nominated by the beneficiaries.

What legal actions can be taken against a Personal Representative?

An interested party can petition the court to remove the Personal Representative, or request supervised administration. The petitioner can also petition the court for a temporary restraining order to stop the Personal Representative from doing a certain act.

Learn More

Are you considering who to appoint as your Personal Representative, or have you been appointed as someone’s Personal Representative? We can help you understand what is required of you and walk you through the Probate process. Contact our office for a free probate advisory meeting to have your own questions answered and to learn what is expected of you when you’re operating as the estate’s Personal Representative.