Estate Administration Basics
There is a lot that goes into the selection of an estate administrator. They will be in charge of settling your estate when you pass on. It is important that they do the right thing by your loved ones especially since you will not be there.
In many cases, a family member is chosen as the administrator. But in cases where there are family feuds and fights, this may not be the wisest thing to do. People tend to be vicious where inheritances are concerned.
An administrator has so much they need to attend to in their line of duty. An estate planner or probate attorney shall be an important ally to them. The probate process is legally recognized, and goes on for about half a year. All this time, the estate assets will remain untouched. You shall see no selling, trading, or distribution of any part of the estate to the heirs or beneficiaries, except where the courts allow. The probate process will commence when the last Will and death certificate are out through the courts. The administrator should then secure all assets that belong to the decedent. This shall be followed by an appraisal of the valuables in the estate to determine what their current market value is.
The administrator shall also get in touch with any creditors to notify them of the passing, and to settle any debts still present. If there are not enough funds, the courts shall allow them to sell off some assets to make enough money. A probate attorney shall prove useful, especially in negotiating the debts. Creditors can be made to take some partial payments, and leave the rest uncollected. When it comes to the financial portfolios of the decedent, the estate administrators shall have to contact the financial institutions to verify if they owe any unpaid taxes. In case there are any, they shall be cleared from the estate. This shall have the financial institutions send over the necessary clearance forms.
If any property in the estate is being financed via a mortgage, the administrator shall arrange for the regular payments to continue. Where payments cannot be made, a foreclosure will have to happen. In case the estate cannot sustain the payments, the administrators can put the property up for sale.
The estate administrator gets paid for all their services. There are state probate laws that look into the amount to be paid. You may get it as a flat fee, or a percentage of the estate value.
It is best to have a professional firm handle such duties on your behalf. By arranging to have an experienced, capable and reliable law firm in charge of the administrative duties, you can be sure nothing bad shall befall your loved ones.