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Understand your role as an executor

| Dec 7, 2018 | Probate Administration |

Probate administration is an important job. Probate administration refers to focusing on what happens to a person’s estate after their death. A probate administer (executor) might be your estate-planning attorney or another person of your choice.

The person who takes on this role needs to know about the laws that govern what happens to your assets. They also have to understand what happens if you die without a will since that creates a plethora of legal challenges.

What happens when a person dies?

When a person dies, it’s important to find the estate’s assets, gather them and manage them. Estate administration doesn’t just include distributing assets. It also includes paying debts.

This can be overwhelming for those with no legal experience, which is why many people turn to administrators with legal backgrounds. State to state, the probate laws may vary, which is an additional challenge for any administrator to deal with.

What does the executor do once tasked with managing the estate?

After being told to look after the estate, the executor must collect the decedent’s assets and create an inventory. If the decedent had debts, those must be paid out of the estate first. Whatever remains may be passed on the beneficiaries.

The good news is that it’s possible to avoid probate completely if someone dies with few assets. Small estate administration is slightly different, because individuals may seek the assets they’re entitled to by appealing to the court directly.

Our site has more on estate administration, so you can learn all about this important topic and how it could affect your family.