If I’m the personal representative of my mother’s estate, what are my rights/responsibilities?

UPDATED: Dec 1, 2013

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If I’m the personal representative of my mother’s estate, what are my rights/responsibilities?

My brother predeceased my mother. My sister-in-law wants to talk directly to my attorney but he will charge the estate for his time. Is the estate responsible for paying those charges or is she personally responsible for paying? Also, what expenses can I be reimbursed for – my time, funeral costs, air line tickets?

Asked on December 1, 2013 under Estate Planning, Ohio


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  I am assuming that the Will sets forth what is to be done with your brother's portion of the estate.  You sister in law should take that to her attorney to explain the matter.  When you say "your attorney" I am assuming that you mean the attorney for the estate, correct? He or she should explain to you all your rights and responsibilities but briefly you have the obligation to marshall (collect) assets, give notice to creditors and pay debt (funeral costs being priority), keep estate assets in good condition (like real estate); have the real estate appraised and generally act in accordance with your Mother's wishes in the Will.  Ohio statutes set Executor's fees and yes, you should be reimbursed for costs associated with the execution of your duties.   They do so for the attorney's fees as well. Check and see if you will be required to have an in state contact listed with you if you are an out of state executor.  Good luck.

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