The personal representative is the person who is authorized and obligated to collect the assets of a decedent's estate, satisfy outstanding debts, and distribute the residue of the estate in accordance with either the decedent's will or Minnesota statutes. In and of itself, not a wildly complex set of duties. But, the complexity arises when an heir does not approve of the execution of the personal representative's efforts. What is the standard the personal representative is held to in executing her duties?
“A personal representative is a fiduciary who . . . is under a duty to settle and distribute the estate of the decedent in accordance with the terms of any probated and effective will and applicable law, and as expeditiously and efficiently as is consistent with the best interests of the estate.” Minn. Stat. § 524.3-703(a) (2020). In doing so, and so long as doing so is “reasonably for the benefit of the interested persons,” the personal representative may “sell, mortgage, or lease any real or personal property of the estate.” Minn. Stat. § 524.3-715(23) (2020). When selling real or personal property, the personal representative must do what is "commercially reasonable." In re Estate of King, 668 N.W.2d 6, 10 n. 1 (Minn. Ct. App. 2003). To a real extent, what is commercially reasonable in Hugo is the same as what is commercially reasonable in Roseville. There is not an exact test, but there are steps you can take to ensure reasonableness in your action.
The personal representative can be held personally liable to the Estate and its heirs for wrongdoings. You certainly do not want that I can certainly help you avoid that. Before you take any (mis)steps as personal representative, let's talk and make sure you are proceeding properly.