9. Powers of a Personal Representative
In order to properly administer an estate, the Personal Representative must be given the power to perform his or her duties. In many instances the will enumerates a broad range of powers given to the Personal Representative. In the absence of certain powers delegated by the will, State law enumerates a long list of powers that the Personal Representative may exercise in carrying out his or her duties. (The statutory powers may also be in addition to any power authorized by a will, unless such powers are limited by the will). The statutory powers include the power to hold assets, receive assets from other sources, deposit funds in estate accounts, pay or settle any claims with a creditor of the estate, pay the funeral expenses, pay taxes, insure property, pay off debt, continue to operate an unincorporated business venture that the decedent was engaged in at the time of his or her death, perform the contracts of the decedent, exercise options on life insurance policies, employ attorneys and other specialists, prosecute or defend litigation, and make partial and final distributions.