Administering an estate is an important duty in both legal and personal terms. You want to do the job well and to the letter of both estate administration law and a decedent's will. Consequently, there are many reasons why you might want to hire an estate administration attorney so let's look at four of the most important.
Throughout the estate administration process, you may find details that are hard to sort out. Sometimes this is due to the law. Other times it might be due to apparent ambiguities in a person's will.
As the administrator, you want to be sure your interpretation of both the law and the documents governing an estate is correct. You have a fiduciary duty, meaning you are liable for damages if you wrongly handle the estate. Ask an estate administration lawyer to help you in interpreting the will and documenting why you took certain courses of action.
Generally, estates are fairly mundane. However, the probate court will want to know everything about the disposition of the estate even if it isn't particularly exciting. You will need to file paperwork explaining how you met certain requirements, such as identifying and contacting all the beneficiaries. If there was a problem, such as a beneficiary had passed before the grantor of the estate changed their will, then you'll have to document how you confirmed the beneficiary's death.
You should work with an estate administration attorney to ensure you file all the necessary paperwork. Likewise, they can check your wording and math to ensure there aren't any legal or financial issues.
Answering the Court
The judge overseeing the estate may have some questions. While this is fairly normal even with a simple estate, you should have counsel. Frequently, the judge will send the questions in writing or by electronic message. An estate administration lawyer can study the judge's questions and tell you how to respond clearly.
Administering the Estate
You are the party responsible for the estate's administration. However, an attorney can help you with the basic acts. If you need to set up a trust to hold onto money from the estate while you locate beneficiaries and distribute funds, a lawyer can assist you. Similarly, you might need to use funds from the estate to pay for the upkeep of the decedent's house pending sale. An attorney can tell you how to access the funds, track receipts, and document the work in line with your fiduciary obligations.
For more information, contact an estate administration attorney.