When one gets the call that they have been appointed as an executor to conduct a loved one’s estate administration, unless they have done it before, it is a scary call. However, with a bit of basic knowledge and help, the process can be demystified.
First, the basics
The term, estate administration, refers to all that must happen to one’s assets after they die. This includes their money, retirement accounts, real estate, investments, businesses, personal belongs, etc. It is literally the disposition of an entire life’s worth of things, both real (tangible) and electronic (intangible), like one’s online presence.
Second, do not forget debts and taxes
It is easy to get lost in figuring out all of one’s assets that need to be distributed. But, before anything is distributed, one must get an accounting of all debts and taxes owed. Those must, usually, be paid out first before paying one’s heirs. This may change what the heirs ultimately receive, but those accounts must be balanced.
Does one really have to do all of this?
Yes, the person in charge of all of this is the executor. The executor is empowered with the responsibility for locating and collecting all of the deceased loved one’s assets and debts. This responsibility is regardless of one’s own ability, knowledge in how to do this, or experience with the Uniform Probate Code.
Okay, so what if the executor needs help?
For McMinnville, Tennessee, residents, an estate administration attorney is always available to help. And, the executor can pay the attorney from the estate’s assets, which is a separate payable item from the executor’s compensation.