Protecting Personal Representatives And Their Rights

Even where the smallest estates are concerned, the role of a personal representative is not an easy one. He or she faces court supervision as well as the scrutiny of heirs and other family members — some of whom may be seeking the first opportunity to cry foul and call into question the representative's actions.

If you are the representative to a loved one's estate, it is important to always keep in mind your legal obligations. You may well need an experienced attorney to protect you from or help you with:

  • Protecting yourself from personal liability
  • Creditor claims against you personally
  • Breach of fiduciary duty claims
  • Adverse claims from beneficiaries
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Avoiding self-dealing
  • Second opinions
  • Collecting your fee

It is essential that you be aware of your rights and your options should you become involved in a legal dispute that could result in a formal will contest. Kuhn Law Firm, P.A., has a team of experienced estate planning and administration attorneys who can help you minimize the possibility of disagreement whenever possible and represent your interests in estate litigation whenever necessary.

Involved In An Estate Dispute? Learn How Our Firm Can Help You.

You have specific rights and prerogatives as a personal representative. These include:

  • The right to proceed in the administration of estate matters, including distribution of estate assets, without prior court approval (except when given specific instructions by the court on a particular course of action)
  • The right to an initial opening of a decedent's safe deposit box (with either an employee of the financial institution or your attorney)
  • The right to seize any estate property with the exception of a protected homestead
  • The right to sell real property of an intestate estate
  • The option to resign as a personal representative (except when doing so would place the estate in jeopardy or cause it financial hardship)

You can benefit greatly from having a qualified lawyer represent you throughout the duration of the probate administration process. If you have been named by the court as a personal representative — and especially if an heir or other family member of the decedent is bringing a legal action to challenge your duties — we encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys. For a free and confidential consultation, call our Fort Myers firm at 239-344-9430 (877-243-1624 toll free) or send an email.