Being appointed to administer an estate may feel overwhelming. It's a large task, but your attorney can guide you through the process if you take the time to ask.
When your loved one dies, their estate will need to be collected, managed and then distributed to those who are heirs or beneficiaries. As an estate administrator, you'll have several tasks to complete. Of them, one of the most important is inventorying the estate.
What do you do to inventory the estate?
Inventorying the estate is the step that requires you to document all the decedent's assets. You will note all the assets prior to contacting all of the decedent's creditors. If there are enough assets to pay back debts, then you will pay those debts out of the estate. If there are not enough assets, you will have to turn to the court to get a decision regarding which creditors you need to pay.
It's only after the creditors have been paid that you'll move on to distribute the remaining assets, if any. If there are assets, you'll distribute them in accordance with your loved one's will. However, if they did not have a will, then state laws will dictate how those assets are passed on to beneficiaries or heirs.
Among the final things you'll need to do is a tax return for the estate. Your attorney will be able to help you with this final tax return since it is important to indicate that your loved one has passed away and that this is the final return to be filed.