How to Properly Handle the Estate of Deceased Friends or Families
Settling an estate after a friend or relative has passed can be a very difficult and trying process. Dealing with any type of legal matter can be especially difficult if it also involves grieving over a loved one. Luckily, there is a list of things that can be done in an orderly process that can insure clean and proper handling of the estate of deceased family or friends.
The first task that’s important to carry out is determining who the executor or trustee of the estate is. Most of the time, it is written in clear and concise wording on a person’s living trust. The living trust is probably the most important document needed in this process because it withholds the necessary information such as the titles of his/hers assets (automobiles, homes, money, etc.) which would later be distributed to the according persons. After the trust is located, it becomes the job of the trustee to take over the duty of the bills that will continue to arrive after the person’s death. These bills will include expenses such as phone bills, mortgage invoices, credit card payments, utility bills, and so on. When dealing with an estate of deceased spouses, the surviving spouse may become personally liable for that person’s debts. It’s important to consult an attorney in the event that the surviving spouse would not like to take on the financial responsibilities. If a trustee is not a spouse but a friend, he/she then would also need to seek out an attorney so that they don’t become deemed responsible for paying the debt. It’s crucial to notify the companies of where the bills are coming from and let them know of the death. If credit card companies are aware that no additional charges should be made to the account, then this will prevent potential fraud.
Distributing the assets of the deceased is also an essential step for the trustee. The trustee must follow the specific guidelines set up by the grantor and must follow certain legal requirements that come with being the trustee. It is recommended that the trustee be accompanied by an attorney during this process to insure smooth progress. The job of the trustee will include tasks such as obtaining death certificates, filing the will with probate court, identify the beneficiaries, take account of assets, transfer property in trustee’s name, and so on. The first couple of months as an executor handling an estate of deceased loved ones is a long process, but with help from experienced and professional attorneys, like those at J. Freeman Law, the job can be completed free of hassle.
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