Personal Representative Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Personal Representative, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Personal Representative?

n.A person appointed in a will to administer or take care of the propery of the person who has died is a personal representative.He is also referred to as executor or administrator.He collects the property,pays debt and taxes and carries out other responsibilities as specified in the will.He also handles legal proceedings if any for the estate.

History and Meaning of Personal Representative

A personal representative, also known as an executor or administrator, is a person appointed in a will to administer the estate of a deceased individual. They are responsible for managing the decedent's assets, paying outstanding debts and taxes and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. In the absence of a will, the court will appoint an administrator to handle these responsibilities.

The role of a personal representative dates back to English common law, where the executor was originally responsible for ensuring that the deceased's property was distributed according to their last wishes. Over the years, the responsibilities of a personal representative have become more extensive and complex, requiring the individual to have a thorough understanding of estate law, tax law and accounting principles.

Examples of Personal Representative

  1. John was named as the personal representative in his grandmother's will. As such, he was responsible for managing her estate, distributing assets and ensuring that all debts and taxes were paid.

  2. After her husband passed away, Sarah was appointed as the administrator of his estate since he did not have a will. Sarah was responsible for identifying all of his assets and debts, paying outstanding liabilities and distributing any remaining assets to his heirs.

  3. Tom was named as the alternate personal representative in his father's will, but was unable to fulfill the duties due to illness. As a result, the court appointed a professional administrator to handle the responsibilities instead.

Legal Terms Similar to Personal Representative

  1. Executor - A person named in a will to carry out the instructions of the deceased and manage their estate.
  2. Administrator - A person appointed by the court to manage the estate of an individual who did not have a will.
  3. Trustee - A person responsible for managing a trust established by an individual to hold and distribute assets to designated beneficiaries.