There are many important duties that come with executing a loved one’s last will and testament. Given what is at stake in this role, it can be difficult to manage the process alone. However, a well-practiced attorney could provide crucial support in carrying out the various responsibilities of an estate administrator.
To ensure you meet your duties and honor your loved one’s final wishes, speak with a Raleigh estate administration lawyer. A legal advisor could explain the requirements of your role and assist you throughout the probate and estate administration processes.
Regardless of whether an estate administrator is appointed by the court or named in the decedent’s will, their responsibilities the same. First and foremost, the administrator has to file the will with the court clerk in the county where the deceased person lived.
After filing the will, the next step is to gather the assets of the estate. This can require some research, which a diligent attorney could assist in, but the goal is to identify everything the decedent owned at the time of their death. This may include anything from cash to vehicles to real property.
In smaller estates, this process could simply require consolidating liquid assets into a single checking account. For large estates, an administrator may need to rely on guidance from financial experts and a knowledgeable attorney in the area. This step of the process also requires the administrator to compile the assets and liabilities of the estate.
While the distribution of assets occurs at the end of the administration process, the estate administrator should begin compiling certain assets like jewelry and vehicles right away. Preparing these assets early in the process can make the distribution phase easier.
Next, the administrator must provide notice of the estate to creditors. In addition to any bills owed, the administrator must pay all relevant taxes and address any costs related to the administration of the estate. Local legal assistance may be beneficial in helping the administrator with final income tax filings for the deceased person.
Once the debts and tax bills are settled, it is time to distribute the remaining property to the beneficiaries named in the will. If the estate did not include a will, the property is distributed to the heirs according to state law. An attorney could assist with estate administration by identifying the specific intestate succession laws that would apply in Raleigh.
At the end of the process, the administrator must file an inventory and the final account. The inventory lists all of the assets of the estate, while the final accounting sets out additional income or assets the estate obtained since the process began.
Those named as estate executors may feel nervous about fulfilling the role. Large amounts of money are often at stake, and a poor outcome could strain family relationships. However, the assistance of a Raleigh estate administration attorney could ease that pressure and help ensure that the process is thorough and well-executed.
If you are tasked with executing a will or distributing property to beneficiaries, reach out to a supportive legal team for guidance. Setting up an initial strategy meeting could be the first step to a successful estate administration.