It’s tough to move on after losing your parents. You’re probably finding yourself struggling to cope with the loss as you’re flooded with memories. Yet, as difficult as it can to deal with the realities of life after you’re parents are gone, you also have to figure out what to do with their assets. You’re parents might have made this a little easier by creating a clear estate plan, but even if this is the case you might be the one left to administer it. If that leaves you feeling a little overwhelmed, we hope this basic breakdown of an estate administrator’s duties will alleviate some of your concerns.
There are a number of duties you’ll be tasked with as an estate administrator. One of the first is simply taking an inventory of the estate. This means you’ll have to track down all assets, including personal property, real estate, and bank and retirement accounts. You’ll also need to find any existing insurance policies. Once this is complete, you’ll need to notify any of your parents’ creditors of your parents’ passing and then use estate assets to pay off any outstanding debts.
After paying off creditors, the administrator is tasked with distributing the estate’s assets. That sounds easy enough, but it means that you’ll have to track down named heirs and ensure that there is an appropriate handoff of the assets.
There are other miscellaneous things you’ll have to do, too. Amongst them are shutting down accounts, like utilities, that are in your parents’ names, and filing tax returns for them. You might also have to address a will’s validity in court if there are any challenges to it.
Administering an estate is a great honor, but also a great responsibility. Those who mismanage an estate can end up facing legal claims they never expected. Therefore, in order to ensure that you understand the duties of an administrator, know how to carry those duties out appropriately, and comprehend how to challenge mismanagement of an estate when handled by another, you might want to think about reaching out to a probate attorney of your choosing.