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Why you shouldn’t try to administer an estate alone

On Behalf of | May 28, 2020 | Firm News |

Estate administration can be overwhelming. No matter how straightforward your loved one’s plan is, tackling every task related to it may exhaust you. Yet, you do not need to go through this process alone. With a little help, you can approach your duties from a position of strength.

Understand your responsibilities

As the administrator of your loved one’s estate, you must collect, manage and distribute its assets. If the decedent’s property is tough to access, this task can prove difficult. Once you do gain access to it, you will have to inventory their assets. You will need to use some of these to pay off any creditors your loved one owed upon their passing. You will also have to protect the decedent’s property from misappropriation, both while you collect it and while you distribute it. And you will hold responsibility for procuring your loved one’s death certificate, which provides proof of their passing. If your loved one left a will, you cannot begin probate without this certificate.

If you’re taxed by these tasks, you may find yourself susceptible to error. Common mistakes that estate administrators make include:

  • Delaying the probate process
  • Failing to communicate setbacks with your loved one’s beneficiaries
  • Failing to forward your loved one’s mail to an address you can access
  • Failing to keep proper accounting records for the estate
  • Missing crucial tax payments on your loved one’s property

Work with an attorney

Estate administration is a stressful endeavor. You must uphold your loved one’s wishes while satisfying their beneficiaries. Understanding your role’s requirements will allow you to plan for potential challenges. But bringing in help can ease the process further. An attorney with estate planning experience can guide you through the complex tasks an administrator must accomplish.