Understanding The Challenges Of Estate Administration

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When it comes to estate administration, it is important to ensure that all the requirements of the law are fulfilled. It is a legal process and any action that is taken has legal implications. In addition, the fact that the administrator is often mourning a loved one makes it even more sensitive and difficult.

Estate administration can be a very different experience for different people. Since it is also affected by state law, where one resides plays a large role as well. Therefore, it is critical to know the requirements of the state you live in if you are serving in this role or have been asked.

One of the main things you don’t want to overlook is tax matters. There are general expectations that the IRS places on an estate administrator. The following post explains what they are:

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Deceased Taxpayers – Understanding the General Duties as an Estate Administrator

General Responsibilities of an Estate Administrator

When a person dies a probate proceeding may be opened. Depending on state law, probate will generally open within 30 to 90-days from the date of death.

One of the probate court’s first actions will be to appoint a legal representative for the decedent and his or her estate. The legal representative may be a surviving spouse, other family member, executor named in the decedent’s will or an attorney. Read more at IRS…

With the information from the post above, you can work to ensure that you and your loved ones avoid any issues with the IRS. That way, you will be on the right side of the law, which will help you have the peace of mind you need during your time of grief and recovery.

Another issue that may come up during estate administration is how to handle non-probate property. This can be quite sticky, but the following post offers helpful information on how to go about it:

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How Non-Probate Assets Can Affect Your Estate Plan: A Few Cautionary Tales

When you think about the control of your possessions and assets after your death, you probably think of a Will and probate… Probate is the name of the formal legal process for proving and administering a Will.  During probate administration, the Executor appointed in the Will or otherwise appointed by the Clerk of Court pays the outstanding debts of the deceased person (the “decedent”) and distributes the decedent’s remaining assets to the named or identified beneficiaries in an orderly manner.  The Executor’s actions are court supervised (in North Carolina, by a Clerk of Court), and inventories and periodic accountings of the decedent’s assets must be filed with the Clerk of Court to facilitate the required oversight. Read more at Ward and Smith…

As you see, there are some assets that will need to be handled separately from the probate property. It is equally important to determine which of the decedent’s properties are probate and which ones are not.

The estate administration process can bring with it unforeseen challenges that can make it even more difficult. One of the difficulties that may arise is when the named executor refuses to do the work assigned to him. The following post explores this matter:

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Refusing to Serve as Executor in North Carolina

Many people might feel proud to be selected to serve as executor of a loved one’s estate. Generally, an individual chooses an executor based on strong character, trustworthiness, and integrity…

However, sometimes the person appointed as executor has no interest in fulfilling their duties. In some cases, the appointed person had been unaware that the decedent expected them to serve in the role due to lack of communication. In other cases, the appointed person knew the time might come when they would serve as executor, but life changes might have shifted their intentions to accept the position. Read more at NC Estate Planning Blog…

As the post above describes, an executor may not be able to fulfill his or her duties for whatever reason, which leaves a gap that must be filled. If you have been asked to administer an estate, or want professional assistance with the handling of your own estate, you need to seek the help of an experienced lawyer.

Attorney Jonathan Meek has helped many individuals with their estate planning needs and he is ready to assist you as well. Contact him at Meek Law Firm today to discuss your options. Call (704) 848-6335 or use the contact form on the right of this page to schedule a consultation appointment.

2017-05-26T02:34:44+00:00

About the Author:

As a small business owner, Meek has a passion for working with others who found and work for small- and medium-sized businesses. His goal is to not only help them protect and grow their businesses but also to resolve any personal legal issues they might face along the way. Meek is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association, the Mecklenburg County Bar Association, and the North Carolina State Bar. He is also on the board of Open Aperture Productions, a legal videography firm that he began in 2003. In addition, he participated in many hours of pro bono service during his law school career, including an externship with the Mecklenburg County District Attorney.