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What is a personal representative?

This is a person (called an executor or administrator) that is appointed by a court to handle duties of the estate.
 

  • If the decedent died with a valid will, the decedent may have designated someone to be his or her personal representative (executor) at the time of the decedent’s death.

Or, the personal representative (in this case, administrator) might be designated by the decedent’s beneficiaries, heirs, or even a judge. In all cases, the personal representative must be approved by a court to have legal authority to act on behalf of the estate.