Have you suddenly found yourself as an executor of a Last Will and Testament (also known as a personal representative) and you're not sure what to do? In a perfect world, you'd have all the information and resources you need to administer the estate quickly, but too often in the real-world, the guidance can be lacking.
In fact, in the real world, some people don't even find out they are an executor until they hear it announced through the Last Will and Testament after someone dies. While this can be an honor, it also can quickly become a burden if you don't have the right information you need to handle the estate. Let's go over some tips that may help this situation.
First, I strongly recommend you find a probate attorney. Look for someone who has experience dealing with your local probate court and can help you navigate the process.
Then, you'll need to locate the Last Will and Testament to file it with the probate court to start the probate process. Whether it be there, a home deposit box, or a safe deposit, you must have the original Last Will and Testament.
If you can find the Last Will and Testament, once the probate court accepts your file, you'll receive the legal documents necessary to access bank accounts and set up an estate bank account. I recommend moving all the old accounts into this new estate bank account and closing all but that account for ease of tracking the estate's finances.
Keep in mind, I'm describing an abbreviated process, there are more steps that you'll have to complete as an executor of an estate. If you still have questions or would like assistance with your executor duties, please contact us at (260) 969-1177 or click here to schedule an appointment and we'd be happy to help you.