What To Know About Estate Administration
Estate administration is the process by which an estate is settled and distributed after someone passes away. While this may sound like a fairly straightforward process, it rarely is. In fact, it often requires the involvement of a number of experts and professionals, and can become highly complex and contentious in the absence of proper planning. While no one is blaming you for wanting to leave estate planning for the last minute, doing it now while you still have the chance can have great benefits even beyond the peace of mind that it offers knowing your wishes will be honored and your loved ones will be taken care of. For instance, proper planning now to create trusts that will avoid probate can also have massive tax benefits for the rest of your life.
Helpful Tips for Estate Administration
These tips about estate administration may help when it comes to developing an estate plan that meets all of your needs. Of course, the best way to do that is by speaking with an attorney, but this will also give you a basic idea and a starting point while you get a legal consultation on the books.
- Identify all of your assets. You may think it’s obvious where your assets are located and how they are titled, but the odds are that no one in your life would have a clue, and that it would take them a long time to gather that information from scratch. Keep a ledger of all of your assets, where the title is located and what kind of title there is along with the location, and keep it in a place where it would be easy to locate, such as with your will.
- Identify all of your debts. You can’t outrun your debts, even in death. Whatever is not paid off in life will be paid off using the assets from your estate before they are distributed. Keeping a clear record will make it easier for your estate to be settled as quickly as possible.
- Make a valid will. Prepare a valid will with the help of an attorney and make sure it is someplace where the right people will find it, or that at least one person knows where to locate it.
- Make sure certain assets avoid probate. Certain assets may be critical for your loved ones to be able to access, such as bank accounts or your family home. If these assets are bequeathed through a will and go through probate, your loved ones may not be able to have vital resources for months or even years. Luckily, there are easy ways to instantly transfer these assets to another individual with some simple planning.
- Appoint a personal representative. You can appoint a personal representative in your will. They may be a friend or family member who you trust or an attorney. If you do not appoint one, it’s possible that one will be appointed by the court. They will be responsible for making sure that everything is taken care of when it comes to settling your estate.
Schedule a Consultation with Larry E. Bray
If you are a Florida resident ready to make an estate plan that meets all of your needs, West Palm Beach estate planning lawyer Larry E. Bray is ready to help. Contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray today to schedule a consultation.