If you need to execute someone’s estate, you may be wondering where to begin. Start by finding their estate plan. If you are lucky, this will contain precise information to make the rest of the probate process more straightforward. Then you need to make an inventory of assets. Combined with the estate plan, it allows you to understand what you have to deal with and how long the whole process may take.
When preparing your inventory of assets, the more organized you are, the better. If you are struggling to cope emotionally with the death, seek help from another family member to ease the burden. These are the things you need to consider:
- Estate plan: Hopefully, there will be one.
- Funeral wishes: The deceased may have laid out specific intentions for the end of their life. Before you bury them in the local cemetery under another regulation grey tombstone, check they did not want to be laid out on a Tibetan mountaintop for the vultures to feed on.
- Debts: Executing an estate is not all about being a Father Christmas like figure, bringing good news and prosperity. Sometimes there are outstanding debts to pay and creditors to deal with.
- Assets: You will need to find titles to property and vehicles, access bank statements, life insurance policies, stocks and bond certificates, and information on any businesses they owned.
- Further assets: Some estates can be more complicated, with unlisted artworks or antique furniture pieces of considerable value.
Executing a will can be daunting, especially if it is your first time. An experienced estate administration attorney can guide you through the process and ensure you fulfill your legal obligations.