What does a personal representative do?

In Texas, once a personal representative has been appointed by a court, he/she must qualify. Qualification is accomplished by taking an oath and in some cases, posting a bond. Once qualified, the personal representative has the responsibility to collect, manage and protect assets of the estate. The personal representative will have 90 days to file with the court a verified Inventory, Appraisement and List of Claims of all of the estate’s real property located in the state of Texas and all of the estate’s personal property, wherever it may be located. The steps thereafter in administering the estate depend on whether the administration is a dependent administration or an independent administration, which means, with or without court supervision. This is determined by whether the decedent did or did not leave a valid Last Will and Testament, the terms of the decedent’s Will, whether there is a contest to the decedent’s Will, and/or the provisions of the court’s order of appointment. Regardless, the personal representative is charged with resolving all of the estate’s debts and taxes and addressing claims belonging to the estate. Once this has been done, the personal representative may then distribute the estate property to the heirs or beneficiaries of the estate either as instructed in the decedent’s Will or pursuant to the laws of descent and distribution.