When a loved one passes away in Delaware, his or her family faces the responsibility of settling his or her estate. This is a potentially complex process, particularly for those dealing with the grief and complications that often follow a death in the family. Executing the estate, which is the process of dealing with all money and assets, will be the responsibility of one person, either named in the will or appointed by the court.
If you learned you are the executor of a person’s estate, you may feel overwhelmed by this task. In fact, you may be unsure of what to do. This can be a lengthy and potentially complex process, and you would be wise to have guidance as you walk through it. Having support can ensure you avoid missteps and complete the process in a timely manner.
Your job duties
The ultimate goal and responsibility of an executor of an estate is to follow the wishes of a person as outlined in his or her will. Unfortunately, the process can be a bit more complex than that. There are laws in place that outline how this process works, and issues with beneficiaries and family members can also complicate things.
Before you begin, it can be useful to fully understand the specific role and obligations of the person in charge of executing an estate. These obligations can include the following:
- Obtaining a copy of the will and be familiar with its contents
- Collecting assets and inventory estate property
- Consulting with banks and institutions to locate accounts under his or her name
- Seeking appraisal of certain assets
- Paying off remaining debts and claims against the estate
- Distributing property according to terms of the decedent’s will
Every estate is different, and these are just some of the things you may have to do as the executor. You will find it beneficial to fully understand your obligations before you move forward.
Your ally through a complex process
If you are facing the responsibility of executing a person’s estate, you will find it beneficial to start by seeking guidance from the very beginning of this process. An attorney experienced with estate administration and probate law can be your ally through this potentially complicated and confusing process.
In order to protect your interests and the interests of your family, you would be wise to seek the appropriate legal help as early as possible. You do not have to walk through one step of this process alone.