The estate of a person goes through the probate process on his death. The person who is assigned the duty of administering the management of estate through the probate process is known as probate administrator. If the person has left behind a bill, and an executor is named in the will for administration of the management of the estate, this person is officially appointed by the court for administration of the estate.
In case there is no will or an executor is not named in the will, a probate administrator who is also known as a personal representative, is appointed by the court. Here is a list of some of the major duties and responsibilities of a probate administrator.
The first major step is to open the estate and make an inventory. For proper distribution of the assets, the administrator will need to take an inventory of all the assets. In some cases, the administrator will also need to get some items appraised in order to get an idea of their value. Appraisal becomes particularly important in case the assets need to be liquefied in order to distribute estate funds as outlined in the will.
Effective Asset Management
Another important responsibility of a probate administrator is to manage the assets under the estate in an effective manner until the completion of the probate process. The administrator has a fiduciary duty to take proper care of the assets. It means paying the mortgage on time, making some investment decisions and maintaining the property. It is the duty of the administrator to make prudent investments.
Keeping track of assets is an important part of the overall responsibilities of a probate administrator. The accounting and records are reviewed by the court which makes record keeping vital to the overall process. It is the duty of the probate administrator to keep the personal assets and estate assets separate.
The estate assets may need to be sold by the administrator in order to satisfy any creditors and the remaining assets are distributed as per the will once the creditors have been paid. In case of absence of a will, the distribution is made as per the laws of succession of or state’s laws. The administrator may also be required to provide final accounting to the court, depending on state law, before or after distribution of the remaining assets.
As mentioned above, the probate administrator has a fiduciary duty to act in good faith on behalf of the estate.