Advising On The Best Way to Administer A Decedent’s Estate

The passing of a loved one is stressful and confusing. Most of us will be overwhelmed with the burdensome tasks that come with this. The Personal Representative has the responsibility for administering the estate. Add to that continuing to live his own life with work requirements, family obligations, and dealing with family’s emotional responses.

 

The duty of a Personal Representative is a full-time job. The best gift that you can give your family is to have an estate plan in place to greatly reduce this burden. The estate plan is a set of instructions that guides the Personal Representative. It will make that job much easier and seamless. Your family will thank you. Putting an estate plan in place is easy. Typically, the plan includes a will, durable power of attorney, health care proxy, a trust sometimes, and other support documents. These can be drawn up and signed within a week or two.

 

Below is a sample of some of the work that must be done by a Personal Representative:

 

Compile a list of all existing debts as of the date of death and from the date of death forward

Get copies of all of the documents:

  • Mortgages

  • Medical Bills

  • Health Insurance

  • Lines of credit

  • Condo Fees

  • Property taxes

  • Federal and state income taxes

  • Motor Vehicles (Cars / Boats / Planes)

  • Personal loans

  • Loans against life insurance policies

  • Loans against retirement accounts

  • Credit card bills

  • Utility bills

  • Cellphone bills

 

Identify & Collect All Assets

  • file Probate Court petitions and appear in Court, if necessary

  • prepare tax returns

  • file life insurance claims

  • open bank accounts

  • change titles to accounts

  • and many more.

 

Tips to Assist Estate Administration

All people should have a list of all of their assets and debts including their locations and how to access them and a contact person.

 

For example:

 

Assets:

 Salem Five bank account

# xxxxxxxxxxx

Bank manager is John Smith

781-888-0900

Debts:

 

Mortgage Company

1 main street

Boston, ma

Mortgage Representaive- James Brown

781-123-4567

 

Contact Attorney Bucklin Today!

The former is by no means exhaustive. The are many more complex matters that require an attorney. Challenges to a Will, claims against the estate, negotiating debts, acquiring life insurance proceeds, and more. For help navigating probate of estates, you can call Attorney Andrew Bucklin at ​ 781-632-8675  or contact him directly on his website.