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How to Handle an Estate After Your Parent Passes Away

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If you have a recently deceased parent who owned their own home and property, someone will need to be available to decide what to do with these assets. After someone dies, there is usually someone who will inherit their belongings. Finding out who the property will now belong to and how to distribute assets is something that will need to be handled by the executor of the estate.

Here are some tips you can use if you find out you are the executor or the property your parent had owned.

Find Out About the Will

If you had been designated as the executor of your parents home, contact your parent's lawyer to find out if there was a will left with instructions about what they had wished to happen with the estate after their death. If there is a will, it will be a cut and dry procedure as you will be able to read the wishes your parent had for their belongings.

The will would be read to all the people your parent had mentioned leaving something to and you will be in charge of making sure these things get to their new rightful owners. It will be your responsibility to file the will with probate court.

If no will was left, you will be in charge of finding out who the heirs are to the property. If you had siblings or if your parent had a spouse, they will most likely be considered to be heirs. Each state has its own set of laws, so hiring a probate attorney to help you make the proper decisions in asset distribution is very important.

Look After Your Parent's Interests

You are not only in charge of the estate, but you will also be in charge of your parent's finances. If they had owed any debt, it will be your responsibility to let creditors know about their death and pay up any owed money. This can be taken from sale of the estate, sale of some of their belongings, or from their personal bank accounts.

The debt needs to be paid before the remainder of the assets can be distributed to the heirs. It will be up to you to decide how the payment of debt should best be handled. Having an attorney to help you make the right decisions will be beneficial in making sure all the heirs get the maximum amount of money or property.

Open up a bank account for the estate money. If there are any outstanding paychecks or dividends from stocks, they can be deposited into this account. The money can be used to pay some of the bills left by your parents. You will need to file income tax for your parent for the year that they pass away, so this money can be used for this reason, as well.

Another thing you will need to be in charge of is the closing of all accounts your parent had established, such as credit cards, mail delivery, insurance premiums and additional bank accounts. For more tips or assistance, contact probate lawyers such as David R Webb Attorney.