Q: Can personal rep also be creditor of an unsupervised estate if all other heirs agree and all estate bills will be paid.
It would be for deceased person's final expenses (way less than the cost of an "average" funeral) paid out of jointly owned checking account with the personal rep having right of survivorship and proven food expense for last three years of deceased person's life paid for by the personal rep's credit card. All other entities with claims, the credit card companies and local, state, and federal government, will be paid. Personal rep cared for 99 yr old mom for 18 years with next to no help from other sibling, the only other heir, and she provided nursing home level of care for 3 years during the pandemic singlehandedly in the mom's house for no pay. The other sibling will not contest these two creditor claims by the personal rep. And the only other heir understands she can have the unsupervised probate case can be turned into a supervised case at any time she wishes.
The problem the personal representative has is that where someone provides money, goods, or services to another family member, those things are presumed to be gifts, unless there is some sort of legal agreement between them that those things are not just being provided gratis. So if there is no agreement, filing a claim for those expenses would be on shaky legal ground. And also the personal representative would have a conflict of interest in paying that claim, as both the person claiming an expense and the person who is approving it.
If the personal representative wants to be paid for expenses of care provided to the decedent in the deceased's final years, the better course might be to enter a written agreement to alter distributive shares with the other heirs or devisees of the estate. If they all consent, then that would protect the personal representative because he/she could get the other people's written agreement that yes, everyone agrees personal representative should be paid X from the estate. That wouldn't require filing a legally shaky claim, doesn't involve a conflict of interest as long as everybody is fully informed, and would be cleaner way to go.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.