What Do I Do When A Family Member Has Died And I Am The Estate Trustee?
As estate trustee, you are responsible for the administration of the deceased’s estate. It’s your obligation to make decisions about how and when the estate is distributed to beneficiaries. Paying the estate’s debts is also a part of your responsibilities.
At Filice Law, we have carefully guided many estate trustees through the complex administration process. We will support you throughout your duties, ensure that the process runs smoothly and help you avoid costly mistakes.
What Are The Duties Of An Estate Trustee?
A trustee has numerous obligations to fulfil during the administration process. That involves a wide range of duties from making funeral arrangements to finding all the beneficiaries named in the will. One of the most important tasks imposed upon a trustee is the obligation to pay off the estate’s debts. The trustee must pay creditors before he or she can distribute the estate to the beneficiaries. If the trustee fails to do so, he or she could be liable for the outstanding amounts.
It’s prudent to seek the advice of a lawyer when being entrusted with this responsibility. Our law firm has advised and instructed many trustees about how to accurately distribute an estate to avoid liability.
How Can An Estate Lawyer Help Me?
When you hire a lawyer to help you administer the estate, the main function of the lawyer will be to advise and guide you. The lawyer will also prepare court applications and other agreements necessary to convey assets and pay off debtors.
One important reason to hire a lawyer is to help navigate you through the estate’s debt fulfillment obligation, which includes tax obligations. If you fail to file the final return and the estate owes taxes, you will likely be held personally liable for the outstanding income taxes of the deceased.
Filice Law has years of experience navigating trustees through the administration process. We understand the steps that must be taken to properly distribute the estate, and can navigate you through them. We understand you are grieving and are here to support you and help you fulfil your responsibilities.