Why Appoint a Professional for Probate and Estate Settlement

Sandy Calbreath, Trust Officer

Generally speaking, probate and estate settlement sounds rather dry and boring, but often that is not the case. Some of our more unusual cases come from probates where the named administrators did not serve. 

In one case a bank was named personal representative. Faced with performing an inventory on a home where two deceased individuals had been undiscovered for several days, the bank quickly resigned.

Northwest Trustee & Management Services undertook the job and with the help of a HazMat team, the assets were inventoried and collected. After an estate sale, we hired a contractor to clean and repair the home so that it could be sold.

In another situation family members were named jointly as personal representatives. Amid charges of fraud and undue influence, the feuding relatives could not agree and the court finally appointed Northwest Trustee & Management Services as administrator. After a thorough investigation, it was determined that legal action against one of the relatives was appropriate and we are actively pursuing a return of assets on behalf of the other heirs.

The moral of these stories is: before you agree to serve as a personal representative, be aware that the job might be more than you anticipated.

Print Date:  Summer 2009