4 Key Things To Know When Dealing With A Loved One's Estate

4 Key Things To Know When Dealing With A Loved One's Estate

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None of us want to think about a loved one leaving us one day, but it is something that everyone will, unfortunately, experience at some point. Too many times we hear stories of family members having to take on the burden of bills, debt, and financial issues that they did not plan for.


Knowing in advance how to prepare will save you not only in legal fees but also the mental stress of not knowing what to do or where to go for help when all you want to do is remember your loved one’s life.

Here are 4 key things to know when dealing with the estate of your loved one.

1. Establish An Executor Or Trustee. Finding out who is the executor or trustee should be your first step in starting the process of dealing with a person’s estate. In some cases, you may want to be appointed the executor or trustee of your loved one’s estate. An attorney can assist you with this process.

2. Get Copies Of The Death Certificate. Along with executor or trustee information, banks and other institutions will want to see the death certificate of your loved one in order to close accounts. Obtaining multiple copies of the death certificate will help facilitate the estate administration process.

3. Locate a will or trust for your loved one. A will or a trust will have specific instructions on how your loved one’s estate is to be administered. For example, your loved one may have wanted his granddaughter to receive a gold necklace upon his death. Or your loved one may have set up a trust for the benefit of her son’s college education. Locating the will or trust can help avoid years of probate court and prolonged litigation.

4. Paying Bills. Creditors will undoubtedly make a claim on your loved one’s estate for any unpaid debts. However, the appointed executor or trustee will have the power to accept or reject claims from creditors. Depending on your relationship to your loved one (i.e. surviving spouse), some creditors may try to threaten litigation against you for your loved one’s unpaid debts.  If this happens, seek legal assistance right away.

Proper planning can minimize estate issues. By understanding how the estate process works, you are in a better position to plan for and properly deal with these issues.

 

This free article is brought to you by LawChamps, a new and innovative way to get you matched with attorneys who can handle your legal needs.

This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps.

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