Have you agreed to be an administrator of someone’s estate? If so, you have hopefully learned about what the estate administration process involves and how critical your roles is in the proper administration of an estate. What you may not know is what to do immediately after the death of the estate owner. Here are 3 steps you need to take:
1. Secure the property. It is not uncommon for property to “disappear” after the death of a loved one. While the intentions may not be improper – “He would have wanted me to have this” – taking the personal possessions of someone who has just passed thwarts your ability to distribute the assets as outlined in a will or trust. Be sure to advise family members that distributions will be made in proper time, and that they are not to “walk off” with anything.
2. Take some time. You do need to notify Social Security within 30 days of the death of the estate owner, but most of your other duties can wait a little while. Once you have secured the property of the deceased as noted above, time the time you need to grieve and to get a handle on the estate.
3. Get the help of an attorney. As an executor, you have a legal duty to the heirs to administer the estate properly. If you do not have the experience for this, get the help of an estate administration attorney for the guidance you need to carry out your job properly. You will not have to pay the attorney yourself; any fees will be paid by the estate.
The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources. Contact the Flanigan Law Group at 949-450-0041.