Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Michigan

Adult childrens legal responsibilities for deceased parents

If the will of a deceased parent appoints personal representation rights to a surviving child what are the legal responsibilties in accepting this position? can it be refused? and if so what may or may not be done or taken from the deceased residence in such an instance? The will appoints one of the children as personal representative and also states specific legal, medical and death expenses be taken care of from the remaining assets. What are the legal responsibilities of the surving adult children?

Asked on 5/29/07, 3:19 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Audra Arndt Audra A. Arndt & Associates, PLLC

Re: Adult childrens legal responsibilities for deceased parents

A personal representative is responsible for administering the decedent's estate - i.e., assets and liabilities. The PR is also 'in charge' of any disputes regarding the will or distribution of the assets. Yes, the person appointed as PR can refuse the job - and if the decedent has an estate that needs to be administered, and no family member wants to do it, the court will appoint a PR, but will charge the estate a fee for that service.

I suggest contacting a family law/estate planning lawyer to assist with your issues. I recommend Scott Kappler at 734.454.0080.

Thanks and good luck.

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Answered on 6/01/07, 7:41 pm

Regina Mullen Legal Data Services, PLC

Re: Adult childrens legal responsibilities for deceased parents

The legal responsibilities are contractual in nature and may be refused.

If accepted, there are contractual obligations as well a 'fiduciary' obligation, which basically means doing the right thing by the estate.

One obligation is to disburse the estate funds in a responsible manner,--paying outstanding bills and preserving as much as possible and permissible for the beneficiaries of the will.

The others have no such responsibilities.

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Answered on 5/29/07, 8:03 pm

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