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Who can be an estate’s personal representative?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2024 | PROBATE & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION - Estate Administration

A personal representative is one of the crucial parties of an estate, as they will settle the estate and distribute assets to beneficiaries. So, who can serve as a personal representative in Idaho?

Here are a few parties who can:

The party named in the will

Typically, the testator (the person who drafts a will) will name a personal representative, which can be a person or an institution, such as a bank. A testator should be careful with their choice. Choosing someone whose appointment can be accepted by the probate court is vital.

Other parties

If there is no will or when there are contests regarding the validity of the party named in the will, the court may appoint other parties seeking to serve as the estate’s personal representative. The parties that can be considered for this position according to the priority of appointment include: 

  • The surviving spouse of the decedent who is a decedent’s devisee (a person designated in a will to receive assets) 
  • Other devisees of the decedent 
  • The surviving spouse of the decedent 
  • Other heirs of the decedent

If these parties don’t step up to take the role, the court may pick any creditor to serve as the estate’s personal representative after 45 days since creditors are considered interested persons of an estate. 

Lastly, the court can appoint the public administrator to serve as an estate’s personal representative if 60 days elapse after a petition for the appointment of a personal representative is filed and no qualified party has consented to serve. An heir or creditor may also file a petition to request the public administrator to administer the estate within one year of the decedent’s death.

If the court appoints you to serve as the estate’s executor, learn more about your role to avoid costly mistakes.