Q. I was named “personal representative” (executor) in my mother’s will. She has now died, and I have been trying to carry out this responsibility. I have taken the will to banks and other institutions and shown them the part that says I am personal representative, but none of them will acknowledge my authority and say I have to have a probate. Do I really have to do this?

A. Your designation as personal representative in your mother’s will sets forth her choice to have you handle that responsibility. However, before you legally have that authority, you must be appointed personal representative by the court.

Robert E. Farnam is an attorney practicing in Idaho Falls. This column is provided by the 7 th District Bar Association as a public service. Submit questions to “It’s the Law,” PO Box 50130, Idaho Falls, ID 83405, or by email to rfarnam@holdenlegal.com. This column is for general information. Readers with specific legal questions should consult an attorney. A lawyer referral service is provided by calling the Idaho State Bar Association in Boise at 208-334-4500.

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