If you have learned that you have been appointed as administrator of an estate or executor, you may not be ready to take on this responsibility. What is unfortunate about death, more often than not, is that there is tangible work to be done at a time when family members are least prepared to do it. Through the haze of mourning, you are expected to make sound financial and legal decisions. Obviously, this is much easier to do with the help of a probate lawyer. Find one you can trust and work your way through the administration of the estate.
If you're the executor of someone who had very little, the job probably won't be too much effort. On the flip side, if the deceased owned a lot of possessions, all of which are filled with tons of personal belongings, you might have the whole task ahead of you. Trying to do this on your own without a probate lawyer is a big mistake and will almost surely lead to some nasty legal tangles. Your job is to protect the assets. Go through the deceased's records to find out who owes the estate money. And find out what needs to be done to pursue the business interests of the deceased, if that is your goal.
Pay off debts
While it is certainly not your responsibility (usually) to dip into your own pockets to pay off the debts of the deceased, a probate attorney will tell you that you will be responsible for covering their debts on their own. goods and assets. . You will need to look at income taxes, property taxes, and other government loans first. Next, you will need to look at all the private debts that will not be automatically wiped out when they die. Don't be surprised if there isn't much left to divide after these debts have been settled. Often it is.
Distribute the remaining assets
Once the debts are cleared, it will be time to distribute the rest of the property and assets to the beneficiaries named in the will. If there is no willpower, of course, things will get complicated quickly. Even a will can be left open to interpretation and challenges. It is far from rare to see a family fall into turmoil when legitimate property is called into question. Greed plays a role, but so does emotion. No one likes to think of themselves as their favorite nephew only to realize that they have nothing left. Work closely with your probate attorney to keep things from getting out of hand.