Administering the estate of an Alabama loved one who has passed away can be a difficult task, whether you have been named as an executor in the decedent’s will or appointed by the probate court. It includes gathering assets, paying outstanding debts, filing tax returns, and distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries.
Where does estate administration take place?
Most activities involving probate and estate administration take place in the state where the decedent lived. However, if your loved one owned property in another state, you, as the estate administrator, may need to travel to that state to accomplish necessary activities through an ancillary probate proceeding.
Steps to administering an estate
All estates are unique. However, the size of the estate, the number of beneficiaries and the complexities involved with the will and other documents influence the administration process and the steps that need to be taken.
- Probate the will in court to have it declared valid
- Voluntary administration may occur if the estate is small
- Waiver of full administration if there are no outstanding debts to pay
- Regular administration if the estate is too large for voluntary administration and has more than one beneficiary
You may need to go through a formal court proceeding that legally designates you as the executor of the estate, even though you may be named as such in the will.
Estate administration can be overwhelming
If you have been named as the executor or appointed by the court, you may not have realized the duties involved in estate administration. Learning about the process before you must go through it can help you.
Executors and representatives should remember that probate and estate administration isn’t necessarily complex. However, they should realize that the process can become lengthy, so patience is required.