Get the Guidance You Need to Serve as an Executor or Trustee by Calling an Estate Administration Lawyer
Even if you knew that you would someday be called to administer the estate of a loved one, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the process and the duties involved. Serving as a personal representative or managing a trust can be challenging tasks, and mistakes could lead to delays or even civil liability.
What is Involved in Estate Administration?
Although every situation differs in the details, the overall process of estate administration usually involves tasks such as:
- Notifying creditors and heirs
- Paying bills left behind by the deceased
- Determining tax liability and filing returns
- Assessing and managing assets
- Filing appropriate legal documents
- Distributing assets in accordance with legal requirements
- Accounting for actions taken
Depending on the situation, you will have some duties that must be fulfilled in the right time frame according to legal standards. For instance, if you are the personal presentative of an estate, you will need to file a specific petition in court to open the estate. Many people find it helpful to work with an estate administration attorney who can guide them through the process and even handle much of the paperwork.
Fiduciary Responsibilities of Those Administering an Estate
If you are administering an estate or trust, you are under legal obligations as a fiduciary. This means you have a duty to manage assets and carry out administrative tasks in a way that serves the best interests of the heirs or beneficiaries.
Your actions and decisions are important, and if you make a mistake, you could be held accountable. Estate administration lawyers are familiar with fiduciary requirements and can help you avoid actions that could lead to allegations of mismanagement or breach of fiduciary duty.
Handling Problems That Arise in Estate Administration
Someone managing an estate or trust should be prepared to handle problems as they arise, and this is another situation where legal advice from an experienced attorney can prove invaluable. For instance, when someone dies, the law requires an estate administrator to take certain steps to notify any potential creditors. The administrator will also need to complete an inventory of the estate’s assets. If there are not enough assets to cover all the outstanding debts, some creditors will take priority over others, and it is important to follow the legal requirements.
Assistance from Proven Estate Planning Attorneys in Prince George’s County
The dedicated legal team in the Law Office of Ralph W. Powers, Jr. P.C. could work with you to ensure all legal requirements are met and guide you step-by-step through the process of estate administration in Prince George’s County. Contact us to schedule a confidential consultation.