Can a personal represntative be the wife of the deceased even though she’s not named in the Will?

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Can a personal represntative be the wife of the deceased even though she’s not named in the Will?

And what rights does she have?

Asked on March 14, 2013 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This question is confusing.  I do not practice in Michigan.  However, in Florida (and every other jurisdiction that I know about), the person nominated by the will to serve as personal representative has the first preference to serve.  If that person cannot or will not serve, the successor(s) nominated in the will have the next preference.  If they cannot or will not serve, then that state statute says who has first preference, and here the wife would probably have preference.

If the wife wanted to challenge the appointment of a person nominated by the will to serve as personal representative, she would have to present some reason why that person should not serve.  The personal representative is responsible for administering the decedent's wishes as expressed in the will.  The PR does not get to say who gets what.

In every state, spouses have certain rights to inherit - no matter what the will says.  If this is your real question, you must speak with a Michigan estate attorney.  That attorney can explain what rights the wife will have outside the will.


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