Cover image for Executors and personal representatives : rights and responsibilities
Executors and personal representatives : rights and responsibilities
Jasper, Margaret C.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. : Oceana Publications, Inc., [2003]

Physical Description:
viii, 183 pages ; 24 cm.
Overview of the probate system -- The personal representative -- Opening the estate -- Preparing an inventory -- Prosecuting and defending estate claims -- Tax issues -- Distributing the assets and closing the estate -- Government benefits -- Appendices.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF778.Z9 J37 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Executors and Personal Representatives: Rights and Responsibilities presents an overview of the probate process, and discusses the rights and responsibilities of the personal representative in winding up the decedent's affairs. These tasks are numerous and varied, and generally include filing the necessary court documents to prove the decedent's will; identifying and filing an inventory of the decedent's property; having the decedent's property appraised; paying the decedent's debts and taxes; distributing the decedent's property according to the will or state law; and providing an accounting to the court. The text provides the reader with a basic understanding of the probate system and the role one must fulfill if called upon to participate as a personal representative.

The Legal Almanac series serves to educate the general public on a variety of legal issues pertinent to everyday life and to keep readers informed of their rights and remedies under the law. Each volume in the series presents an explanation of a specific legal issue in simple, clearly written text, making the Almanac a concise and perfect desktop reference tool. All volumes provide state-by-state coverage. Selected state statutes are included, as are important case law and legislation, charts and tables for comparison.

Author Notes

Margaret C. Jasper is an attorney engaged in the general practice of law in South Salem, New York, concentrating in the areas of personal injury and entertainment law

Table of Contents

About the Authorp. v
Introductionp. vii
Chapter 1 Overview of the Probate System
In Generalp. 1
The Uniform Probate Codep. 1
Overview of the Uniform Probate Codep. 2
Article I General Provisionsp. 2
Article II Intestate Succession and Willsp. 2
Article III Probate of Wills and Administrationp. 2
Article IV Foreign Personal Representatives--Ancillary Administrationp. 2
Article V Protection of Persons Under Disability and Their Propertyp. 2
Article VI Non-Probate Transfersp. 3
Article VII Trust Administrationp. 3
Article VIII Effective Date and Repealerp. 3
The Willp. 3
Disinheritancep. 4
Contesting a Willp. 5
Intestacyp. 5
Ancillary Administrationp. 6
Probate Avoidancep. 6
Informal Probate Avoidancep. 7
Probate Exemptionsp. 7
Chapter 2 The Personal Representative
In Generalp. 9
Posting a Bondp. 10
Qualifications and Restrictionsp. 10
Compensationp. 10
The Personal Representativep. 10
The Estate Lawyerp. 11
Qualified Expertsp. 11
Fee Limitations and Arrangementsp. 12
Fee Reductionp. 12
Responsibilities of the Personal Representativep. 13
Liability Issuesp. 14
Protection of Estate Assetsp. 14
Hiring Qualified Professionalsp. 14
Making Investmentsp. 15
Negligencep. 15
Liability for Unpaid Taxesp. 15
Releasesp. 16
Compensationp. 16
Intermingling of Fundsp. 16
Liability of Co-Personal Representativep. 16
Chapter 3 Opening the Estate
In Generalp. 19
Obtaining a Death Certificatep. 19
Selecting a Probate Procedurep. 20
Supervised Administrationp. 20
Unsupervised Administrationp. 20
Small Estate Administrationp. 21
Summary Administrationp. 21
Administration Unnecessaryp. 21
Administration by Court Orderp. 21
Administration by Affidavitp. 22
Notification Requirementsp. 22
Letters of Administrationp. 22
Chapter 4 Preparing an Inventory
In Generalp. 25
Locating Assets and Debts of the Estatep. 25
Appraising the Assetsp. 27
Categorizing Assetsp. 27
Probate Assetsp. 27
Nonprobate Assetsp. 28
Jointly Owned Propertyp. 28
Final Inventory and Appraisalp. 28
Opening an Estate Accountp. 28
Chapter 5 Prosecuting and Defending Estate Claims
In Generalp. 29
Prosecuting Claims on Behalf of the Estatep. 29
Tax Refundsp. 29
Wrongful Death Actionp. 29
Defending Claims Against the Estatep. 30
Taxesp. 30
Unpaid Billsp. 30
Presentation of Claimsp. 31
Selling Assetsp. 31
Chapter 6 Tax Issues
In Generalp. 33
Types of Tax Returnsp. 33
Income Taxp. 33
Decedent's Personal Income Taxp. 33
Estate Income Taxp. 33
Estate Taxp. 34
The Federal Estate Taxp. 34
Repeal of the Federal Estate Taxp. 34
State Estate and Inheritance Taxp. 35
Estate Taxp. 35
Inheritance Taxp. 35
Chapter 7 Distributing the Assets and Closing the Estate
In Generalp. 37
Transferring Property Outside of Probatep. 37
Jointly Owned Propertyp. 38
Community Property Statesp. 39
Life Insurance and Pension Plan Proceedsp. 39
Asset Distributionp. 39
Beneficiariesp. 39
Survivorship Periodsp. 40
Distribution In Kindp. 40
Intestate Distributionp. 41
Minorsp. 41
Appointing a Guardian for Minor Childrenp. 41
Closing the Estatep. 42
The Final Accountingp. 42
Assetsp. 42
Expensesp. 42
Taxesp. 42
Balance of Estatep. 42
The Supervised Estatep. 42
Court Petitionp. 43
Sworn Statementp. 43
Chapter 8 Government Benefits
In Generalp. 45
Veteran's Benefitsp. 45
Filing a Claimp. 46
Eligible Personsp. 47
Veterans and Members of the Armed Forcesp. 47
Members of Reserve Components and Reserve Officers' Training Corpsp. 47
Commissioned Officers of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationp. 48
Officers of the Public Health Servicep. 48
World War II Merchant Marinersp. 49
Spouses and Dependentsp. 49
Other Personsp. 50
Ineligible Personsp. 50
Social Security Benefitsp. 51
Eligible Survivorsp. 52
Widow/Widowerp. 52
Unmarried Childrenp. 52
Parentsp. 52
Divorce and Remarriagep. 52
Retirementp. 53
Applying for Benefitsp. 53
The Lump Sum Death Benefitp. 53
Payments to Decedent After Deathp. 55
1 Uniform Probate Code--Table of Contentsp. 57
2 State Rules of Inheritancep. 73
3 State Law Exceptions to Conventional Probatep. 89
4 Sample Fiduciary Bondp. 95
5 Sample Petition for Letters for Administrationp. 97
6 Sample Notices to Creditorsp. 107
7 Sample Affidavit of Publicationp. 109
8 Sample Order Approving the Petition and Issuing Letters of Administrationp. 111
9 Estate Planning Guidep. 113
10 Sample Inventory and Appraisalp. 131
11 Sample Claim for State Tax Refundp. 133
12 Sample Petition to Settle a Wrongful Death Actionp. 139
13 State and Gift Tax Exemptions (2002-2010)p. 141
14 Sample Petition for Judicial Settlement of an Estatep. 143
15 Sample Order of Final Dischargep. 161
16 Sample Application for VA Death Benefitsp. 163
Glossaryp. 175
Bibliography and Additional Resourcesp. 183