One of the personal representative’s most important duties is to gather, preserve, and protect the assets of a decedent’s estate so the assets can later be distributed to heirs or pay creditors of the estate. This is true whether the decedent died with or without a last will and testament. In most cases, the personal representative is a close relative of the decedent who has at least some knowledge of the property owned by the decedent. In some instances, however, assets are not so easily found or not readily obtainable, such as personal property that has been taken by other family members prior to the personal representative’s being appointed by the Probate Court. Under Alabama law, it is the personal representative’s duty to locate such property and retrieve it. Fortunately, the law takes such considerations into consideration and gives the personal representative ways to do it, including allowing the personal representative to file a lawsuit on behalf of the decedent’s estate. During the probate process the personal representative’s attorney can assist in these efforts. If you have any questions about probating a loved one’s estate, you can contact Michael Robertson, and he will be glad to talk with you.