Duties of Personal Representative

The Estates and Protected Individuals Code (EPIC) defines the duties and powers of a personal representative. The authority to act as a personal representative (PR) begins on appointment by the court.

Disposition of Body, Funeral & Burial

Before or after appointment a person named as personal representative in a will may carry out decedent's written instructions relating to decedent's body, funeral and burial.

General Duties of PR

  • Provide written notice to court and all interested persons within 7 days of change of address.
  • Follow the Michigan Prudent Investor Rule
  • Settle and distribute estate according to law
  • Act expeditiously and efficiently
  • Act in the best interests of estate and claimants whose claims have been allowed
  • Pay state and federal taxes
  • Pay inventory fee within one year after appointment or prior to closing estate, whichever is first.
  • Pay homestead, family and exempt property allowances.

Fiduciary Relationship

PR stands in a position of confidence and trust with respect to heirs, devisees, and beneficiaries. PR's fiduciary duties include undivided loyalty, impartiality, care and prudence and segregation of assets.

PR may not disclose facts or knowledge about estate property or heirs, devisees, and beneficiaries unless required by law or with consent of affected persons.

Notice of Appointment

Within 14 days of appointment PR shall:

  • Serve PC 573 Notice of Appointment and Duties of PR on all heirs and devisees.
  • Serve PC581 Notice to Spouse of Rights to Election and Allowance on surviving spouse, if any.

Within 28 days of appointment PR shall provide PC618 PR's Notice to Friend of the Court to the Friend of the Court in the county where decedent's estate is being administered and file a Proof of Service with the Court.

Montcalm County Friend of the Court
629 N State Road
P.O. Box 305
Stanton, MI 48888
Phone: 989-831-7332

Inventory & Accounts

Within 91 days of appointment PR shall prepare and serve PC577 on all interested persons and provide court information necessary to compute inventory fee.

PR shall annually and on completion of estate provide each interested person a statement of activities itemizing all receipts and disbursement and identifying estate property.

Creditor's Claims

Upon appointment PR shall:

Publish PC574 Notice to Creditors in the Daily News or Carson City Gazette:
Daily News or Carson City Gazette
109 N Lafayette
P.O. Box 340
Greenville, MI 48838
Phone: 616-754-9301
The Daily News

File proof of publication with the court.

Send copy of published notice or PC578 Notice to Known Creditors to each creditor known at publication and at any time within 4 months after publication and to the Trustee of a trust as to which decedent was settler.

Pay allowed claims in statutory order of priority 4 months after publication.

Environmental Matters

If environmental concerns or hazards PR may:

Inspect property for compliance with environmental law.

Take action necessary to prevent, abate or remedy violation.

  • Settle or compromise claim
  • Disclaim a power
  • Decline to serve or resign

Conflicts of Interest

PR shall not engage in a transaction with the estate or personally derive profit from transfer of estate property.

A sale or encumbrance to PR or PR's spouse, agent, attorney, corporation or trust or a transaction affected by substantial conflict of interests is voidable unless:

  • Authorized by will or contract
  • Approved by court
  • Permitted by statute

Compensation for Services

PR is entitled to reasonable compensation for services. PR may hire and pay attorney, accountant, investment advisor or other specialized agent to assist with probate. A PR may pay an attorney without court approval only if requirements of MCR 8.303 are met.

Continued Administration

As long as estate stays open PR shall annually within 28 days after anniversary of appointment file PC587 Notice of Continued Administration and send each interested person a copy.

For Montcalm County estates, if estate is to be continued for a second year, depending on the reason a hearing may be scheduled to determine the necessity of continued administration. The personal representative and attorney must be present at this hearing.

Closing Estate

PR may close estate by sworn statement 5 months after appointment or formal proceedings after expiration of period for presentment of claims.


PR is liable for damage or loss resulting from breach of fiduciary duty.