If you lost a loved one recently, you might have been surprised to learn that you are the assigned executor for their will. If you have never done it before, the experience may seem intimidating. Being an executor involves having some duties to help guide their estate through the probate process, and eventually pass on assets to those identified in the will. Here is what you need to know.
Work With A Probate Attorney
The first task you will have to do is work closely with the assigned probate attorney who will be handling the estate. If there was not an appointed attorney, you should find one that can assist you with everything you need to do. You will be working closely with them to make sure that all probate laws are being followed and to deal with problems as they come up.
You will have to locate your loved one's will, which is one of the most crucial documents of the whole process. Nothing can be properly divided without the will. Make sure that you have the most recent will as well, since confusion can occur when an old will is not destroyed.
After locating the will, you will need to find paperwork related to vehicles and real estate that they owned. Any company that has assets on behalf of your love one, like a bank or brokerage firm, also needs to release all assets to the deceased's estate so they can be distributed.
Another requirement is to take care of the debts that the estate has. This will be done by using the cash assets that belong to their estate. Once all cash has been used, remaining debts must be paid by selling tangible assets. This is one step of the process that can take some time, and may delay an estate from being divided according to the wishes in the will.
After satisfying all debts, you can now distribute the assets that remain according to your loved one's will. If the will does not state who assets will be given to, state laws dictate how distribution occurs. This is another step that can benefit from using a probate attorney guide you through it.
Being an executor is a lot of work, but with some legal help, you should have no problem making sure that everything has been properly taken care of. Speak with a legal professional like Wayne E Janssen Atty for more information.Share