Where to Start When Serving as Personal Representative (Estate Executor)

Looking to Sell? Start Here.

You’ve just learned of the passing of your beloved Great Aunt Grace in Bradenton.  You live in Detroit, and years ago, before she moved to Florida, she asked you to serve as her Executor (although you realize it’s called Personal Representative in FL). You hoped this day would never come.

After you provided a lovely wake and celebration of her life, reality is setting in.  You’re in charge of settling her estate and all you can say is “Now what?” or “Where do I begin?”

To get a started as a new Personal Representative, the first three preliminary steps I’d suggest include:

  1. Enlist the assistance and guidance of the estate attorney who drew up her will & trusts.
  2. File the initial court documents to start the probate process.
  3. Identify, gather, valuate, and safeguard the decedent’s probate assets.

It’s the third item that’s going to take energy, time, resources and perseverance.  Taking stock of your ability to jump in in the midst of your already busy life, you realize that the perseverance part would be really easy if you could enlist the help of a local Bradenton project manager who could supply the physical energy, the time and the resources to get the rest of the job done, while you take the stacks of financial statements and go back home to your family.  You can work on the financial assets from Detroit.

Enlisting various partners to help you close the estate, especially when it’s a job that needs to be done long-distance is essential. As mentioned in step #1, an estate attorney will guide you through the legal challenges ahead.  A wealth advisor will guide you through the choices of how to manage her financial assets before dispersal to her beneficiaries. A savvy local real estate agent who understands the structure of probate and has a team of professionals can make the physical job a breeze.   

At this point in the process, you’re just a bit overwhelmed by the various steps ahead of you that will be necessary to get her physical assets ready to divest.   You realize that someone local will need to:

  • Sort through her personal belongings
  • Keep what’s sentimental
  • Appraise those items of value
  • Sell the items of value that are not considered an heirloom or coveted by a family member
  • Pack up and ship the items that need to go to family members
  • Choose a local charity to donate the non-sellable items to
  • Trash the items that aren’t donatable (which day is garbage day?)
  • Clean the home
  • Decide if you want to sell it “as-is” (wholesale) or if you want to get top dollar (which will require some updates and/or renovations)
  • Decide what updates may be needed to get the home ready to put on the market since Aunt Grace had lived there since 1976
  • Take bids from local contractors and choose
  • Coordinate the basic updates or major renovations
  • Oversee the progress
  • Find a savvy real estate agent who will market the property to the right audience
  • List and market the property to sell for top dollar
  • Follow-through to close escrow.

Will that “someone local” be you? When one is aware of these steps, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.  If one isn’t aware, there’s no telling when a wake-up call is going to come and the question of “how am I going to do all of this myself?” arises.

If you’ve been given the honor of being named Executor (or Personal Representative), know in advance that it’s a complicated process and taking it one-step-at-a time with the help of seasoned professionals is the best way to “Close the Book”.

Don’t forget – being asked to serve as Personal Representative is a big honor.  Serve your loved one well by enlisting the help of savvy professionals who can help you get through this process. I’m happy to make some recommendations.

Hi, there!

I'm Jude and I love helping people
who are facing a major life transition
make necessary real estate changes 
gracefully, methodically, and
with the least stress possible. 
Let me know how I can walk you step-by-step down the path to completion. 

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8270 Woodland Center Blvd #156, Tampa, FL 33614





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Hi, there!

I'm Jude Creamer and I love helping people facing a major life transition embark on finding their happy place gracefully, methodically and with the
least stress possible.
Let me know how I can walk you step-by-step down the path to your happy place. 



My Listings


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