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What’s a Personal Representative Deed: What You Need to Know

Photo of a deed and house keys. What's personal representative deed?

When a person passes away, their property and assets must be used to pay valid debts and taxes, and then any remainder is distributed to their heirs according to their wishes or state laws. That’s where a personal representative deed comes in. But what’s a personal representative deed? It is a legal document that allows the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to transfer real property (like a house or land) to the purchaser of the property or to the rightful heirs. Understanding this document is important for anyone involved in the probate process.

What’s a personal representative deed?

A personal representative deed is a legal document that allows the personal representative of a deceased person’s estate to transfer real property. The real property may be sold to pay creditors. (This may happen if an estate is insolvent.) Or the personal representative may transfer the property to heirs or according to the deceased person’s will.  The personal representative is responsible for ensuring that the property is transferred to the correct persons according to state laws and the wishes of the deceased.

Who can be a personal representative?

A personal representative, also known as an executor, is typically named in the deceased person’s will. If there is no will, the court will appoint a personal representative according to state law. In Arizona, A.R.S. Section 14-3203 provides guidelines for how a personal representative is chosen. The personal representative should be someone who is trustworthy, organized, and able to handle the responsibilities of managing the deceased person’s estate. This can include tasks such as paying off debts, distributing assets, and filing taxes. Note that the personal representative can be held liable for any mistakes or mismanagement of the estate, so it’s important to choose someone who is capable and responsible.

How is a personal representative deed executed?

A personal representative deed is executed by the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate. The personal representative must have legal authority to act on behalf of the estate, which is typically granted through a court order. The deed must be signed by the personal representative and notarized. It should also include a legal description of the property being transferred and the names of the heirs who will receive the property. Once the deed is executed, it must be recorded with the county where the property is located to make the transfer official.

Here is a sample Arizona personal representative deed.

How does a personal representative deed differ from a will?

A personal representative deed and a will serve different purposes. A will is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets should be distributed after their death. It can also name a personal representative to oversee the distribution of assets. A personal representative deed, on the other hand, is a legal document that specifically transfers property from a deceased person to their heirs. It is important to have both a will in place to ensure that all assets are distributed according to the deceased person’s wishes. Then a personal representative deed can distribute those assets as appropriate.

Have questions about probate and how to transfer property? Let us help!

Whether you’re an executor, heir, or concerned party, our experienced law firm help you through the intricacies of estate administration, from initiating the probate process to distributing assets and resolving disputes. With our team of experienced legal team, we will empower you to navigate legal hurdles, understand the intricacies of wills and trusts, and ensure a smooth probate process. Don’t let the complexities overwhelm you – call us today at 602-443-4888. We’re here to help!



Founding attorney Paul Deloughery has been an attorney since 1998, became a Certified Family Wealth Advisor. He is also the founder of Sudden Wealth Protection Law.