What is a Personal Representative?
A personal representative is simply another name for someone who is an Executor or if there is no Will, is the person who has legal authority to administer the estate.
A Personal Representative can be held personally financially liable for any loss resulting from a breach of their duty, even if the mistake was made in good faith, such as:
- Failure to pay the debts and liabilities of the deceased.
- Failure to distribute funds to an individual who is successful in their claim against the estate.
- Failure to identify, and correctly distribute funds to the beneficiaries; including those initially not known about.
What’s the Difference between an Executor, a Personal Representative and an Administrator?
If a valid Will is in place a Personal Representative is known as an Executor. If there is no Will then the Personal Representative is known as an Administrator.
A Personal Representative is the person responsible for dealing with the deceased’s assets. These assets, including property and financial investments are collectively known as the Estate. The Personal Representative has the legal authority and responsibility to administer the estate and may ultimately be held accountable for any mistakes made.