After the death of a loved one, you may find yourself facing the immense responsibility of settling his or her estate. If you learn you are the administrator of a person's Tennessee estate, you may not know what that means or what you have to do next. You would be wise to ensure you know what to expect and what requirements you will have to meet.
In order to settle an estate, a person must address remaining debts, take inventory of assets, identify beneficiaries and more. The person responsible for this is the executor of the estate or estate representative. A court may appoint a person to act in this capacity, or your loved one may have named you in his or her will.
What is your job as executor?
As an executor, you will find it beneficial to seek a basic understanding of your duties, rights and responsibilities. The process of settling an estate may involve complex legal requirements, financial issues and more. It can be a complicated process, especially when there are disputes. Many people find it useful to have guidance as they settle a loved one's estate.
Depending on the individual estate and other factors, the probate process can be either formal or informal. One of the first steps will be to identify the person to act as the executor of the estate. After that, the personal representative will oversee the following:
- Inventory all assets associated with the estate, including real estate, physical assets and financial holdings
- Pay creditors using funds from estate assets and savings
- File any tax returns for the estate, if necessary
- Ensure appropriate beneficiaries get remaining assets as determined by the will
The steps and requirements involved with settling and administering an estate can be complex and difficult to understand. Missteps and errors with this process can cause unnecessary delays and may result in additional complications.
Protecting your interests
As the executor of the estate, you want to meet the requirements associated with settling the estate and moving forward as soon as possible. With qualified guidance, you can better understand what to expect from this process, as well as understand how to avoid additional problems and complications.
Estate administration and probate laws are complex, and it can be prudent to take steps to educate yourself and learn how to protect your interests as you deal with these important matters on behalf of your loved ones.