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What preliminary duties does an estate representative have?

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2024 | Estate Administration And Probate, Estate Planning |

Probate can be daunting and complex, especially for the estate representative. Right after the decedent’s death, this role has different responsibilities concerning the assets and financial affairs left behind. The details of the deceased’s life and estate can lead to further complications, possibly adding to the representative’s obligations.

Additionally, this person would have to prepare by completing specific tasks before probate goes into full swing. These preliminary duties can be essential for the representative to perform their functions effectively, including the following:

  • Organize properties and assets, determining what can cover the deceased’s unpaid debt
  • Gather the necessary documents necessary to administer the estate, such as the deceased’s will, death certificate and asset-related paperwork
  • Go through the deceased’s belongings and mail to determine if there are any unaccounted properties
  • Oversee what happens to more complex assets, such as digital accounts
  • Send notices to the relevant government agencies regarding the deceased’s estate
  • Identify rightful heirs and beneficiaries

Aside from these duties, the representative may take on other tasks, depending on the estate’s details and the circumstances. Specific scenarios may require more preparation and planning, especially if the estate is significant in value, including assets that can be challenging to administer.

Making probate easier

Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to make probate easy. Still, specific estate planning tools can simplify the process by preemptively creating arrangements allowing high-value properties to skip probate, such as creating trusts or establishing joint ownership. These options can only be effective if planned intentionally with legal guidance. Experienced counsel can also help in other parts of the process, which could benefit the representative who may need help bearing their responsibilities.

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