Learn Important Probate Essentials, including key things that go wrong in an estate, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen.
Does the Personal Representative get to do whatever they would like? Can they choose to keep property that should be a part of the estate? What are the red flags to look out for? We will answer these questions and more in this post.
My name is Erik Broel, and I am the founder and CEO of Georgia Probate Law Group. At our firm, we help families who have lost a loved one navigate the complex and confusing legal process so they can make sure the estate is handled properly and their loved one’s memory is honored. Everything discussed in this post is for general information and is not legal advice – for specific information about your situation, please go here to request a complimentary consultation with one of our inheritance lawyers.
When a Personal Representative is appointed by the Probate Court, they take an oath to do the right thing and treat everyone fairly. Although a Personal Representative is given a lot of authority to handle the estate, the position does not give the Personal Representative permission to do whatever they want. They still must follow the law. If there is a will, they still must also follow the terms of the will. If there is not a will, they must follow the intestacy laws of GA.
If a Personal Representative is taking items from the estate for their own personal gain, this is a big red flag. That type of behavior is often called self-dealing, which is likely a breach of the Personal Representative’s fiduciary duty to the estate, heirs, and beneficiaries. So, if you see the Personal Representative taking estate property, you need to act now.
Whether our team would recommend to start with opening the lines of communication or with a more aggressive strategy will depend on the situation in your case. Either way, there are options available and consequences that can be imposed upon a Personal Representative that engages in self-dealing. If you are in this situation, please request a consultation with our office for additional help.
For more information about this and other probate topics, please go to GPLG.com/Handbook to download a complimentary copy of our Georgia. Probate Handbook. You’ll learn the key things that go wrong in an estate, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen.
You also can reach out to our office at (770) 796-4582 to set up a consultation.
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