Difficulties faced by the executors of loved ones' estates

If a financially comfortable loved one has died, then there will be some time-consuming tasks for the executor to take on. Residents of Texas who decide to administer the estate rather than hire a professional executor should be aware of what some of these tasks are. The basic steps are identifying assets, paying off debts and distributing the estate to the rightful heirs and beneficiaries. There are also taxes to deal with.

Executors must, first of all, determine if the estate will have to go through probate. The court costs and attorney fees will be taken from the estate, and the court may distribute the estate in ways that the heirs may not have desired. This is why many place their most valuable assets in trusts.

When there is a revocable trust, executors must update it. First, someone else must be substituted for the decedent as co-trustee. Then, beneficiaries may need to be added or removed. If the surviving spouse dies, the trust becomes irrevocable and thus cannot be revised. Executors must also obtain copies of the death certificate.

One other potential obstacle has to do with the decedent's home. Realtors will explain when the home-selling season is, and there may be pressure to prepare the home by then. Belongings will need to be moved or sold.

As for those who want to make the work of an executor as hassle-free as possible, they will begin the process of estate planning. One of the basics of estate planning is the drawing up of a will. There are various trusts that one can set up, too, from retirement trusts and special needs trusts to charitable trusts. Individuals may also designate the end-of-life care they desire with an advance directive. Before anything, though, they might benefit from consulting with an attorney.

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