When you pass away, you likely have specific ideas of what should happen to your property. You likely have certain people you want to inherit specific items, or you may have a certain objective you want to accomplish with your wealth. You may also want your family home to remain in the family, or you could leave money for the purpose of caring for a disabled loved one. Regardless of your goals, you can create an estate plan that can help you accomplish those goals.
One of the most important decisions you can make in your estate plan is naming a person who can act on your behalf during the administration of your estate. The executor of the estate is the person who will oversee the process of closing remaining matters pertaining to the estate and distributing assets according to the terms of your plan. This is an important responsibility, and you will benefit from careful consideration as you make this designation.
Steps in the estate administration process
Every estate is different, and every estate plan is unique to the individual goals and objectives of the specific person creating the plan. However, despite how unique and personal your estate plan may be, the estate administration process generally follows the same steps. These are the requirements in the process that your estate administrator will oversee:
- Take an inventory of the estate assets and their value.
- Create a list of the estate’s liabilities and notify creditors.
- Pay off debts associated with the estate.
- File a final tax return for the estate.
- Distribute assets according to the terms of the estate plan.
The estate administration process can be complex, and it can be difficult to navigate if interested parties are in dispute regarding the terms of the will or other aspects of the estate plan. The person named as the executor should be responsible, willing and reliable.
Help creating your plan
It is not easy to create an estate plan on your own. If you do not have a plan, you need to designate an executor or you require assistance naming a person to act as the administrator of your Tennessee estate, you will benefit from seeking professional assistance from the earliest stages. These are important decisions, and you do not have to make them on your own.