Did your loved one pass away with a will that names you as personal representative? You might not be clear about everything that this entails but you likely know that you need support from an experienced Iowa personal representative lawyer to help you complete everything in a timely fashion and as effectively as possible. The support of a personal representative attorney in Iowa is strongly recommended if you are not familiar with the contents of your loved one’s estate or if you believe that there may be claims against the estate like a will contest.
No person can anticipate the difficulty of helping process a loved one’s probate estate but this can be too much stress to take on for yourself without the support of a lawyer. Thankfully, retaining a lawyer is strongly recommended and is an option available to you as soon as possible after you find out that you are named as a personal representative.
Understanding a Personal Representative’s Role
A personal representative is the formal person who can make changes regarding the administration of the estate, such as selling assets to pay creditor claims and making final distributions to beneficiaries. This person does not decide what happens to the estate of the deceased individual but rather processes those items in accordance with the terms of the will. If there is no will, a personal representative still must be appointed and the personal representative’s role is then to transfer those assets based on state laws known as intestate succession. No matter how you come to find yourself in the role of executor it can be helpful to retain a lawyer to support you.
An attorney is the person who can answer your questions and can assist you with handling this one step at a time. Looking at the big picture it’s easy to become overwhelmed as a new executor or personal representative because you might not realize all of the assets or debts associated with a loved one’s estate. The good news is that you don’t need to know everything about someone’s estate to start the research process but you don’t want to put yourself in the position of having to take this all on yourself.
Furthermore, if you suspect that disputes, such as will contests or trust litigation could be possible because of the dynamics of your family, you’ll want to protect yourself from personal liability by retaining legal counsel sooner rather than later. If beneficiaries of the estate can successfully show that you mishandled these assets or that the estate itself is not valid, this can further delay the process of probate and add to additional stress and frustration for you. It is your job to keep things on a timely schedule to provide accountings to the courts and to keep beneficiaries reasonably updated. This in and of itself, however, may not be enough for you to feel more comfortable with managing the process.
That’s why you’d want to retain a personal representative lawyer in Iowa to make sure that you have covered all of your bases and minimize your potential exposure to risks and problems. No person should have to go through this process on your own especially if you are a family member of the deceased and are also coping with the grief you are facing at the same time. You deserve to have legal counsel who is highly familiar with the process of moving things through probate and someone who can prove a supportive asset to you as you carry out these important and legally required tasks. If you have further questions about what it takes to be a personal representative or are concerned about whether or not you want to accept this responsibility to begin with, speak with a knowledgeable Iowa personal representative attorney now.