Handling the estate of a loved one after they pass can be extremely difficult. Even with emotions aside, navigating the process can take a great deal of time and effort.
It usually takes roughly 16 months to settle an estate, which can include about 570 hours of effort from the administrator. A will makes things a lot easier, but it’ll be up to you to carry out the wishes it contains, or fill in the blanks where there aren’t any instructions to follow. All while invested parties are looking on.
There are a lot of interests to look after when handling an estate, and you’ll likely be in charge of covering them:
- Assets: One of the most essential parts of the probate process, you’ll usually need to handle all the assets of the estate. You’ll likely need to locate everything your loved one owns, establish fair market values and conduct any necessary sales.
- Creditors: You’ll probably need to notify anyone who holds a debt against the estate, including publishing notice in case unknown creditors can seek payment. The responsibility of paying these creditors and handling any other outstanding taxes and bills will likely fall on your shoulders.
- Distribution: Once you have paid any debts, heirs or beneficiaries are usually next in line. You’ll need to hand over whatever assets are left over according to the will or the intestate laws of Pennsylvania. This can include complicated legal formalities like setting up trusts, transferring titles and handling deeds across state lines.
Knowing your responsibilities as administrator of the estate is an essential part of performing your duties. Make sure you have an understanding of what’s expected of you so you can properly put your loved one’s estate to rest.