Does the Personal Representative Have to Hire a Lawyer to Probate the Estate?
A loved one has died, and you are the personal representative, do you have to hire a lawyer to probate the estate or can you swing it on your own?
The personal representative can handle the probate estate pro se. However, there are a lot of rules and timeframes that need to be followed. The first step would be to file a petition with the court to appoint the personal representative and admit the will to probate. Once this is done, the personal representative has to give notice of creditors.
Then the personal representative will have to prepare an inventory of all estate assets and debts, and pay or dispute any claims that are made against the estate.
Next, the personal representative may have to sell or transfer real property or vehicles. Once the time frame passes, the personal representative will have to work on closing the estate, which includes an accounting and distribution of assets.
Finally, the personal representative will have to file a petition to close the estate. None of this is rocket science but it takes consistency and following specific rules of court.