Being the person appointed to care for a loved one’s estate after they pass is a great honor – and a great responsibility. There could be a lot of eyes on you in the process, so it’s best to start off on the right foot.

Estates typically take nearly 16 months to settle. The road is long, but it doesn’t start until the administrator gets things underway. Your list of duties will often revolve around property in the estate, but knowing what’s on the table is where you’ll likely begin.

Processing probate

You’ll have many obligations ahead of you when directing an estate, but the one that is likely to gather the most interest is managing the assets at stake. Beneficiaries and interested parties could challenge things, so it’s best to make sure you start on the right foot.

  • Inventory: You’ll need to kick things off by making a list of everything your dearly departed owned. This could include things both in the will and those left out. The inventory will need to list these items and include pertinent details.
  • Appraisal: Distributing assets and settling debts are a big part of the process, and for that, you’ll need to know how much everything is worth. Each item will have to be paired with the fair market value at the time the owner passed, along with any liens or levies on the property.
  • Distribution: It will be on you to get this information to those involved in the probate process. If you left anything out, discovered additional assets or assigned incorrect values, you may have to draft a new copy with corrections and redo the submission process.

Handling a person’s estate can be a large undertaking, and it’s your legal responsibility to get it right. Managing the property is an essential part of the process, so make sure you know how to get things underway.