Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 29, 2014 – When a person is named as executor of an estate, he or she becomes legally responsible for protecting the assets of the decedent until the estate administration is complete. This can be a complicated, lengthy process, and organization is the key to keeping the process manageable.
“Estate administration can be complex, especially if the estate planning is incomplete or there are disputes about the estate,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia estate planning attorney with Hook Law Center. “Staying organized can help.”
From the outset, the executor should understand his or her legal responsibilities. Once an executor accepts the position, he or she must act in good faith to protect the assets of the estate until probate is completed. This includes refusing to sell off assets or allow others to tamper with them.
Obtaining a death certificate is an important initial step. A person’s death certificate can be obtained from the funeral home. Executors should ask for several death certificates, because copies will be needed when notifying financial accounts, life insurance and other organizations.
Next, an executor needs to track down the will or trust documents. The will must be filed with the probate court soon after the death. Trust assets can be disbursed immediately without court approval, pursuant to the terms of the trust.
Once the estate planning documents are in hand, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney who specializes in estate administration. The attorney can help the executor understand the legal issues associated with the estate and ensure that no important steps are overlooked, which can speed up the process.
With the assistance of an attorney, the executor is now ready to start the work of administering the estate. This includes tracking down all assets, using the assets to pay outstanding debts and taxes and administering the remaining assets to heirs.
Learn more at http://www.hooklawcenter.com/
Hook Law Center
295 Bendix Road, Suite 170
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452-1294
5806 Harbour View Blvd.
Suffolk VA 23435
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