I just got off the phone with Nancy. She is feeling a bit overwhelmed. Her mother has just died, and Nancy has been appointed executor of her mothers’ estate. Nancy has a full time job and a family of her own. Her mom lives in a different state. Nancy doesn’t see how she will have time to be an executor, but her sense of loyalty to her mother and responsibility to her family compels her to step up to the plate and get the job done.
Nancy is in for some tough times. While still dealing with the emotional loss of her mother, she will have to empty her mothers house of forty-five years of accumulated memories. Everything in the house will have to be inventoried and values assigned. Her mothers doll collection and her fathers coin collection will have to be appraised. The inventory and appraisals will have to be submitted to the Probate Court. Property will have to be distributed to the heirs according to the Will.
Then, the entire contents of the house, the furniture, appliances, bedding, pots & pans, clothing, car, even the lawn tools will have to be sold so that the house can be readied for sale. When both the titled and non-titled property are liquidated, the debts and taxes will have to be paid to settle the estate.
My purpose here is to help executors like Nancy understand the big picture of what must be done to settle an estate. Keep in mind that I am not a lawyer or an accountant, and I am not offering legal or accounting advice. The information I am offering is based on my experience as an Estate Property Specialist. If you have questions or concerns, my recommendation is to seek legal advice. A good Estate Attorney is an asset.
Further Reading: Estate Executor’s To-Do List Part 2
Originally posted 2011-03-10 14:16:00.