In Massachusetts, a Personal Representative is tasked with the administration of a decedent's estate.
Estate administration is the process of wrapping up a decedent's financial affairs after their death. Specifically, it involves the administration of their probate estate. A decedent's probate estate includes all of their property that was not held jointly with another person, subject to a beneficiary designation, or held in trust.
If a person dies with a valid Will, then the Will determines the beneficiaries of the probate estate. If a person dies intestate, meaning without a Will, then the intestacy provisions of the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code determine the beneficiaries.
Estate administration begins with the probating of the Will and appointment of personal representative. Then the personal representative marshals the probate assets of the decedent, pays valid expenses and claims, and eventually makes distributions to beneficiaries. Once this is done, the personal representative may file an inventory, accounting, and/or petition to close the estate.