The personal representative: 1) Decides if there are any estateThe assets and liabilities left behind by a decedent. assets; 2) Locates and manages the estate assets during the probateThe legal proceeding by which a decedent’s testamentary document, such as a will, is proven to be valid, and the subsequent procedure of administering the decedent’s estate. process; 3) Receives payments due to the estate, such as rent, unpaid salary, dividends, etc.; 4) Sets up an estate bank accountA bank account set up and used by an executor or administrator of a decedent’s estate to collect the decedent’s cash assets, to pay off the decedent’s liabilities, to pay the costs of administering the estate, and to make distributions to the estate’s beneficiaries. to hold estate funds; 5) Values the assets of the estate; 6) Gives official legal notice to creditors and potential creditors of the probate proceeding; 7) Investigates the validity of any claims against the estate; 8) Uses estate funds to pay funeral bills, outstanding debtsA specific amount of money that a person must pay to another person and which that other person has the legal right to collect., and valid claims; 9) Uses estate funds to pay continuing expenses, such as mortgage payments, insurance premiums, etc.; 10) Handles day-to-day details, such as ending leases and credit cards, notifying banks and government agencies of the decedents death, etc.; 11) Files final state and federal income tax returns covering the period from the beginning of the tax year to the date of death, and uses estate funds to pay income and estate taxes; 12) Figures out who gets what estate assets and distributes the assets to those individuals after obtaining court approval; and 13) File receipts for distributionThe act of dividing a decedent’s assets according to the terms of the decedent’s will, the terms of a trust, or according to the laws of intestacy. and wrap up any final details for the estate.