Definition of PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE: A personal representative is a person who has received letters to administer the estate of a decedent. (New York Estates, Powers & Trusts Law §1-2.13)
Plain English translation: A personal representative is typically the person appointed to be in charge of a decedent’s estate. A personal representative is generally considered either an executor (if the decedent died with a will) or an administrator (if the decedent died without a will).
Upon appointment, a personal representative will receive either letters testamentary (if the decedent died with a will) or letters of administration (if the decedent died without a will) from the Surrogate’s Court. These letters will grant the personal representative the power to gather and administer the property of the decedent.
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