When a family member dies, it can be a a painful and trying experience in your life. However, that pain and stress can be compounded if you don't properly handle your business when it comes to executing their will and administrating their estate. This can be a process that is either straight forward and logical or messy and emotional. If you want to be sure that you and your family receive the latter, follow these guidelines and tips to make it a smooth process.
#1: Choose The Best Estate Administration Attorney At The Beginning Of The Process
If your loved one is still planning how to handle their estate, you will be able to help them by choosing an attorney that can provide them excellent service. First and foremost, make sure that you schedule four to five sit down consultations with different licensed and insured estate attorneys, to make sure you're satisfied with their credentials and rates. When possible, choose someone with specialties, as opposed to just general estate administration attorneys. This way, they can tailor their services to the needs of the estate owner. Get a clear break down of all rates in writing, so that you aren't caught off guard by any unexpected fees.
#2: Stay On Top Of Your Tax Filing Deadlines
When you receive any sort of inheritance from an estate, this also comes with tax obligations. Rather than compound your pain by having the IRS after you, be mindful of your deadlines and manage your taxes well before it. To stay on top of your taxes, you are required to make the IRS aware of this inheritance within 9 months of your loved one's death. Extensions of up to 6 months are available, but you may only use this extension one time.
#3: Keep Detailed Records Of Each And Every Aspect Of The Estate Administration
The process of estate administration can consist of a lot of steps, including probate, trust, guardianship, living wills and other such issues. You should make sure that both you and your attorney retain copies of these documents on file. Keep both a hard copy and a digital copy, so that you are able to produce these documents whenever you need to. Staying organized will allow your attorney to work better and harder for you throughout the entire process.
Take advantage of this information, so that you can make the estate administration process as seamless and productive as possible.