Being in charge of executing the final wishes of a family member or loved one is an important and significant responsibility, but it can also be a difficult one to live up to. If you have little to no experience with legal and court procedures, fulfilling your duties as an estate administrator without help from a professional may be difficult.
As a result, you should talk to a Cary estate administration lawyer about how best to approach your assigned responsibilities before starting this process. A qualified estate planning attorney could provide customized guidance about what you will be required to do and support you every step of the way, both in and out of court.
An estate administrator has several responsibilities, including filing the decedent’s Will, presenting an inventory of assets, paying off debts and tax obligations, and distributing estate property to beneficiaries. An experienced estate administration lawyer could help a person fulfill these duties.
Whether they are named in a decedent’s will or nominated by the court overseeing the probate case, the first step an estate administrator must do is file the decedent’s last will and testament with the county clerk of court where the decedent lived prior to their death. Estate administrators also must present an inventory of all the assets included in the estate they are responsible for managing, including financial instruments and real property.
Next, the administrator must pay off all outstanding debts and tax obligations held by the decedent out of the deceased individual’s estate. If the estate they are managing is not large enough to cover all of the debts, the administrator must pay out of their own pocket. In addition, the administrator will likely need to file an income tax return on the decedent’s behalf, as well as a return for estates with particularly high financial value.
Finally, the administrator will be responsible for distributing estate property to the beneficiaries named in the decedent’s will and take a few additional actions to finalize the process. During all stages of this process, assistance from a seasoned estate administration advisor may be crucial to successfully completing the duties required of an administrator.
Even before the estate administration process begins with the appointment of an executor, there are a few actions surviving family members should do to prepare their loved one’s estate for probate. Gathering up real property like furniture, jewelry, vehicles, and other personal items should be a top priority, as should quantifying the asset’s financial value. Family members should also ensure they notify the Social Security Administration of their loved one’s death within one month of its occurrence in Cary.
Once all these affairs are in order, family members should strongly consider meeting with a local estate administration representative whether they are named administrator or not. In addition to providing guidance with actual administrative duties, legal counsel could also help other family members and beneficiaries understand what to expect from the process while they are getting their thoughts and finances organized in the meantime.
Serving as the executor of a deceased person’s estate can be a lot of pressure as it is high stakes for everyone involved. It is understandable to feel overwhelmed if you have been nominated as an estate administrator and have no prior experience with trusts and estates law.
Fortunately, you do not have to go through this process without help from a seasoned legal professional. A Cary estate administration lawyer could be your steadfast ally through the entire administration process. To set up an initial consultation, pick up the phone and call today.