Duties of an Appointed Personal Representative Part 2

This is a continuation of the previous note dealing with the duties of an appointed personal representative.

The previous note covered the specific duties to give notice of appointment and to give notice to creditors.

Notice to Surviving Spouse

In the estate of a decedent who was domiciled in this state at the time of death, the personal representative must serve on the surviving spouse, if any, notice of the rights of election under part 2 of article II of the Estates and Protected Individuals Code and the rights to exempt property and allowances under part 4 of article II of the Estates and Protected Individuals Code.

The notice must be served within 28 days after the personal representative's appointment. The notice may be accomplished by serving the surviving spouse with Notice to Spouse of Rights of Election and Election and Allowances, Proof of Service, and Election (PC 581). Spousal and minor rights such as allowance will be explained more fully in subsequent notes.

No notice need be given the surviving spouse pursuant to MCR 5.305(A) if:

1. The right of election is made before the notice is given.

2. The spouse is the personal representative or one of the personal representatives.

3. There is a waiver of rights and allowances under MCL 700.2202(3).


Pursuant to MCL 700.3706 the personal representative is responsible for the preparation of the inventory and service on all presumptive distributees and interested persons who request a copy within 91 days after the personal representative's appointment.

The property must be listed with reasonable detail along with its fair market value as of the date of death and the type and amount of any lien, mortgage or security interest. The personal representative may employ qualified and disinterested appraisers. The name and address of each appraiser and the item the appraiser valued must be indicated on the inventory. This may be accomplished by using the form entitled Inventory (PC 577).

There is no requirement that the personal representative file the inventory with the court unless in supervised administration. However, pursuant to MCR 5.307(A) the personal representative must submit to the court information sufficient to compute the inventory fee within 91 days of appointment. The inventory fee must be paid before closing the estate or within one year after appointment, whichever is earlier. More information about the inventory is contained in a subsequent note.

Change of Address

The personal representative must keep the court and all interested persons informed in writing within 7 days of any change in the personal representative's address.

Estate (or Inheritance) Tax Information

The personal representative is required to submit to the court proof that no estate (or inheritance) taxes are due or that the estate (or inheritance) taxes have been paid. More information about taxes is contained in a subsequent note.

Notice of Continued Administration

If the personal representative is unable to complete the administration of the estate within one year of the personal representative's original appointment, the personal representative must file with the court and all interested persons a notice that the estate remains under administration, specifying the reason for the continuation of administration. This may be accomplished by using Notice of Continued Administration (PC 587).

The personal representative must give this notice within 28 days of the first anniversary of his or her appointment and all subsequent anniversaries during which the administration remains uncompleted.

Accounts under Supervised Administration

A personal representative under supervised administration is required to file with the court once a year, either on the anniversary date of the date his or her letters of authority were issued or on another date the personal representative chooses (personal representative must notify the court of this date) or more often if the court directs, a complete itemized accounting of his or her administration of the estate.

The itemized accounting must show in detail all income and disbursements and the remaining property, together with the form of the property. This may be accomplished by using Account of Fiduciary, Short Form (PC 583) or Account of Fiduciary, Long Form which shows gains and losses (PC 584). Subsequent annual and final accountings must be filed within 56 days following the close of the accounting period.

When the estate is ready for closing, the personal representative is also required to file a final accounting with a description of property remaining in the estate. All accounts must be served on the required persons at the same time they are filed with the court, along with proof of service. More information about accountings will be contained in a subsequent note.

The personal representative will, unless supervised administration has been granted, proceed to closing in an unsupervised manner. The broad powers given to the personal representative to accomplish administration of an estate will be discussed in the next note. Subsequent notes will discuss the manner by which an estate may be closed.

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