If an estate has appointed you as an administrator or executor, you will need to understand the core tasks of the role. Under estate administration law, you must address these four issues.
Preservation of Value
The core job of an executor or administrator is to preserve as much value as possible for the estate's beneficiaries. Notably, you will have some room to use the estate's money and assets to achieve this mission. For example, an executor might have to use some of the estate's money to repair the roof of the grantor's primary residence.
Before you access those funds, though, you should ask an estate administration attorney for guidance. They can tell you how to track and justify the expenses.
Note that an executor or administrator has a fiduciary obligation to the beneficiaries. If a person in this role harms the estate through negligence, fraud, favoritism, or self-dealing, the beneficiaries can sue for compensation.
Settling Taxes and Debts
Ideally, the estate's grantor will leave sufficient money to settle outstanding credit, utility, and tax bills. Creditors can sue an estate, and an estate may even end up in bankruptcy if it can't pay.
An estate may not have enough money while having sufficient assets to cover these bills. You do have the power to exercise your judgment in selling assets to reconcile the state's debts. Once more, though, it's wise to ask an estate administration lawyer for guidance if you have to do this.
The administration of an estate also must find as many of the beneficiaries named in the will as possible. If a beneficiary has passed, the administrator will have to determine how to distribute any assets or funds that were going to that party. Usually, the first parties with claims are the descendants of the deceased beneficiary.
You should document all efforts to find, contact, and notify beneficiaries. This includes posting public notice per county law. Ask an estate administration attorney what the rules are where the grantor had lived so you can faithfully document your efforts.
Answering Probate Court Inquiries
In the strictest sense, every estate goes through the probate court system. Generally, this is a mundane process. However, a judge may have questions about even the most boring of estates. You should have an estate administration lawyer assist you in answering any questions. An attorney can help you to understand the wording of estate administration law and provide a meaningful response to the court.
For more information, contact an estate administration attorney near you.Share
27 December 2021
Although I am far from perfect, I have focused on abiding by the local laws for the vast majority of my life. Unfortunately, about five years ago, I realized that I was being accused of a crime that I didn't commit. I thought about letting the trial run its course, but then I realized that fighting would be important to ensure my future. I teamed up with a great lawyer, and things became much easier overnight. My legal counsel told me what to do and what to avoid, and he was able to prove the facts in a court of law. This blog is all about choosing to fight charges.