Fundamentally, it is the Personal Representative (or Executor) responsibility to manage and wind down the deceased person's estate, resolving any debts, distributing assets to heirs, and filing legal paperwork. Here is a brief checklist of items we would be handling as a fiduciary…

1. Inventory of Assets/Debts/Expenses— Find and organize all estate assets and debts, including burial expenses.

2. Court Appointment — Get appointed by the court (if going through probate)

3. Legal Notifications — Notify friends and family, social security, banks, credit cards, etc.

4. Administer the Estate — Maintain and care for assets; plan asset disposition

5. If Estate has Debt — Pay off debts in full, or arrange for debt forgiveness

6. File Federal, State and Possibly Estate Taxes — Submit relevant tax returns: decedent income, estate income, inheritance, etc.

7. Asset Distribution to Heirs of the Estate – Distributions to heirs and charities are processed in a reasonable time frame according to the terms in the Will

8. Final Accounting — Provide a final accounting to all qualified beneficiaries of the estate, which include all assets and expenses, under the direction of the the NM Uniform Probate Code