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Duties, Liabilities and Rights of Personal Representatives

Personal representatives have various duties and powers given to them by statute but some may also be authorised by a Will. Personal representatives have full capacity to carry out administration of the estate once the Grant of Representation is made.
To administer the estate effectively personal representatives must:-

  • Take all reasonable steps to collect in the deceased’s assets
  • Take reasonable steps to collect money due to the estate (and instigate proceedings when necessary)
  • Pay the deceased’s funeral and testamentary debts
  • Distribute legacies
  • Complete the administration and distribute the residuary estate

Personal representatives are personally liable for loss to the estate arising from a breach of duty committed as a personal representative, for example:

  1. Omitting to safeguard assets, e.g. failing to take the necessary steps to preserve the value of assets
  2. Maladministration e.g. where the statutory order for the payment of debts is not adhered to
  3. Misappropriation of assets e.g. where the personal representatives use estate assets for their own personal circumstances rather than those of the estate

If you have been appointed as a Personal Representative and are uncertain as to your duties or wish to delegate your responsibilities to more experienced hands then you can discuss this with our solicitors at Wilson Browne.

For any advice contact our Specialist Team on 0800 088 6004.