An executor or administrator must obtain the necessary legal documents to enable him to act for the estate. These documents, called either LETTERS TESTAMENTARY (for an executor) or LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION (for an administrator), are obtained through the Register of Wills in the county in which the DECEDENT (the deceased person) lived at the time of death.
The duties of the personal representative include:
- Finding the will and having it PROBATED. Probate is the legal procedure used to establish the validity of a will
- Finding and notifying the heirs.
- Locating and protecting the assets of the estate.
- Paying the debts, expenses, and taxes of the estate from the assets of the estate.
- Complying with the requirements of state and federal law.
- Distributing property to the heirs after all proper procedures have been followed.