Estate Settlement Attorney
If you want to know about what it takes to handle an estate settlement, then read on. You may be wondering, how long does this process take, what exactly does it entail, and who is in charge? Whether you are in your younger years or are older, having an estate plan is an important part of planning for the future. But many people think that such plans will take too much time and are just too complicated. As an experienced estate settlement attorney explains, the best way to understand what estate planning is about is to understand what the process of settling an estate looks like. And while the task in itself may not be effortless per say, it will feel much easier once you know what’s going on.
Firstly, estate settlement can be lengthy and confusing for those who have never dealt with it before. It helps to have a checklist and timeline that outlines what to expect and when, and then you’re likely to see that it’s not quite as complex as you initially thought. This is particularly true if you were named as executor, which means that you will be handling the tasks associated with this role and essentially distributing the deceased’s assets and closing the estate once that is finished.
Secondly, in the process of settling an estate is getting yourself organized. Organization plays a key role in most other legal-related processes such as personal injury or workers compensation. Keep track of the time you spend working on the estate, and any expenses associated with doing so. Then look for the will of the deceased. You will need to obtain certified copies of the death certificate. Notify banks, credit card companies, Social Security Administration, and other relevant parties about the person’s passing. If you can, try to get a copy of their birth certificate, most recent tax return, and any other such paperwork. If you do not reside with the person who passed away and now there is a property that is empty, secure it by changing the locks on the doors. Make a detailed inventory of the person’s belongings, list of contacts like colleagues, beneficiaries, friends, relatives, neighbors, and others.
Based on the type of estate plan that was written, you may or may not need help from an attorney. But many people who are handling the settlement of an estate do get support from a legal team that is experienced in estate planning matters, just to make sure they are not making any mistakes along the way. With such an impactful role of handling someone’s last wishes and what they left behind, there can be more peace of mind knowing that you have a professional to ask questions and express concerns when needed.
Estate settlement may feel intimidating at first, especially if you have never done it before. But with help from an attorney, like the team from Carpenter & Lewis PLLC, it takes some of the effort off of your plate so that you can put more energy into the entire process.