After a loved one passes away, someone is usually in charge of handling that person’s remaining obligations. Commonly called the executor of the estate, this person has numerous legal responsibilities when it comes to settling final affairs. Because of the importance of this job, executors have a lot to focus on.
If you are in line to act as the executor of your loved one’s remaining estate, you may understandably feel a bit anxious. Hopefully, you and your loved one discussed the role, and you were able to obtain answers to any questions you had and gain important information from him or her well ahead of time. Still, you may worry about starting the process off right.
Where is the will?
One immensely important aspect of probate is documentation. You will need to obtain the death certificate and multiple copies of it to provide to necessary parties. Those parties could include the Social Security Administration, your loved one’s bank, the Internal Revenue Service, insurance companies, and possibly more. Providing this document will start the process of closing the accounts that remain in your loved one’s name.
You also need to know the location of the will. In order to begin the probate process, the court will need to validate the will, which you will need to present to the court. Hopefully, your loved one will have told you where to find the original copy of the document so that you do not have a difficult time locating it after his or her passing.
Are all the assets accounted for?
Another job you have as the executor is to protect the assets. Though you may think that the assets are well protected already because they are in your loved one’s home, do not put it past others to attempt to take items. Some may try to take a small item for sentimentality and not realize the repercussions it could have, and others could intentionally attempt to walk away with assets if they think they may not receive them as a bequest. Missing assets could cause serious problems during property distribution.
If you worry about how well you will handle the role of executor, you may want to remember that you do not have to do everything alone. A Texas probate attorney could help you understand the steps you need to take to successfully complete probate for your loved one’s estate.