Are you thinking about appointing someone to handle your estate after you pass away? This is a wise decision and one that should be discussed directly with your estate planning attorney, but it is equally important to sit down with the person you intend to appoint and to figure out whether or not they are clear about the many different tasks involved in settling an estate. Settling an estate means concluding the legal, financial and personal affairs of the person who passed away.
Typically, a trustee of a trust or the executor of a will is the person in charge of the relevant tasks when someone passes away. Some of the more immediate needs that must be handled by this person include locating paperwork including trusts, burial and funeral arrangements, wills and any veterans’ information that could be connected to benefits. Furthermore, the social security administration and post office must be notified in addition to friends and family members.
Distribution of the decedent’s assets happens by inventorying and then titling the assets. If the decedent also had a trust, the trustee is responsible for distributing assets amongst the beneficiaries, according to the directions listed in the trust.
This is done without the interference of a court proceeding. An administration proceeding administrator, will executor, or trustee has to figure out all of the assets linked to the decedent to protect and manage those estate assets, to pay out any debts and taxes, and to distribute any remaining assets to beneficiaries regarding any specific wishes that were shared about personal or household items. It is very important that the person who steps into this role is prepared to do so and is detail oriented.