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How do I settle my loved one’s estate?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2023 | Estate Administration & Probate |

Whether your loved one had a lot of money or was barely getting by, he or she has an estate. Once the person passes on, someone has to settle that estate and wrap up all the loose ends of his or her life.

If you are the one granted the duty to handle these matters, your first course of action should be getting the will or estate plan so you know what to do. After that, you will have several steps to take to finalize the estate.

Taking inventory

You need to take inventory of your loved one’s assets. This can be a time-consuming and difficult process. You may have to hunt down paperwork or request documents. It can take quite a while if your loved one did not have everything organized.

Filing the will

If your loved one had a will, you must file that with the probate court in the county where your loved one lived. The court should handle the legal processes involved with settling the estate, but you must still manage all the assets and take steps as directed by the court.

Taking further steps

You will likely have to publish a notice of the death to alert heirs and creditors. You may have to maintain the estate assets. When the court orders, you will pay debts and then disburse assets to heirs according to the estate plan.

Hopefully, your loved one had an organized estate so that settling it will be fairly easy. However, if that is not the case, you should prepare yourself to do quite a bit of work.

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