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Administering an estate is a big responsibility

Making your estate plan is a serious event in your life. You have to make sure that you have your affairs in order before you pass away. On top of creating a will, establishing trusts and leaving instructions for your final days, you have to decide who is going to administer your estate.

The administrator of the estate is the person who is going to handle the heavy work after you are gone. This includes trying to find all of the assets you have and locating the heirs that need to be notified of the estate.

There is much more to being the administrator of the estate than just locating assets and people. This individual also has to make sure that bills get paid according to the law and that the final tax return is filed for the estate.

It is imperative that you pick an estate administrator who is responsible and can handle these duties. You might want to pick someone who is very close to you, but it is imperative that the person you choose will be able to put his or her grief aside while he or she handles these duties.

If you don't choose a person to be the administrator of the estate, the court will determine who needs to have this duty. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it does take some of the control of your estate out of your hands.

Make sure that you think carefully about who you name for this position. Review the plan at least annually to make sure it is still all in order. This includes checking to make sure the administrator is still alive and well enough to handle these duties.

Source: FindLaw, "What Does an Executor Do?," accessed Feb. 23, 2018

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Law Offices of Nancy M. Rice
Representing clients in Ocean City and communities throughout New Jersey.


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Phone: 856-673-0048
Fax: 856-673-0052
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