What is a Personal Representative?
A personal representative is the individual appointed by the Probate Court to administer your estate after you die. This person used to be called an executor or executrix for a female. Massachusetts has recently adopted the gender neutral term personal representative, or PR.
Being a personal representative is not the same as being a beneficiary of your will or your estate, and the person who serves may or may not be one of your heirs.
If you make a will, you can choose a personal representative. It is a good idea to include one or more alternates in your will, in case the person you choose is unable to serve.
If you die without a will, the court will still need to appoint a personal representative. Usually your closest relative will apply for appointment. If you don't have a will, and there is disagreement in your family about who should serve in this role, the process of finalizing your estate and distributing your assets could be delayed.
Learn more here about personal representatives in Massachusetts.
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