Being the person to handle someone’s estate matters is a complicated task and has its legal and financial risks. We are here to help with this process, right from asset determination, to estate distribution.
Things to consider
ARE YOU READY FOR THE TASK? Be sure, before you request probate or administration that:
- You are mentally and physically able to do this estate work. There is a lot of banking, paperwork, and often physical moving that takes place to get an estate wrapped up. Be sure you know what you are agreeing to do.
WHERE TO START:
ASSETS: need to be quickly located, such as:
- Bank Accounts: The statements for the prior year at least must be reviewed to be sure there are no investments that are not appearing on the statement due to manner of investment;
- Investments: These often have to be divested immediately upon your ability to control them, so that you are not held liable for losses due to crashes in the market;
- Real Property: Some people own an interest in land that others didn’t even know about. Careful and thorough title searches are required to determine the titles to be dealt with;
- Shares: These are sometimes difficult to determine and even harder to negotiate transfers. A thorough search of all paper records of the deceased is required to locate such assets; and,
- Insurance: In some cases insurance benefits must be claimed within weeks of the decease. It is best to start moving on locating this paperwork sooner than later.
- Occasionally the debt of an estate outweighs the assets, and when this happens it is sometimes best to sit back and do nothing, if and when that is an option. Take care in not taking authority in those cases, unless absolutely necessary and risks are known;
- Which assets pay which debts?
- How about the capital gains on property sales?
- Filing of Income Taxes may be complicated in the final tax year. Retain expert help.
There are many, such as who are the beneficiaries, are there any dependent claims, is there a prior spouse to notify. The list is long. We are here to help.