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Pursuant to state law, the personal representative performs the following duties when administering the estate:
•Identify, gather, value and safeguard probate assets.
•Publish a notice of administration (notice to creditors, or similar notification, depending on the state laws) in a local newspaper, giving notice of the administration of the estate and of requirements to file claims and other papers relating to the estate.
•Conduct a diligent search to locate "known or reasonably ascertainable" creditors, and notify them of the time by which their claims must be filed.
•Object to improper claims and defend suits brought on such claims.
•Pay valid claims.
•File tax returns.
•Employ necessary professionals to assist.
•Pay administrative expenses.
•Distribute statutory amounts or assets to the surviving spouse or family.
•Distribute assets to beneficiaries.
•Close probate administration.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified probate lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local probate attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.