What is Estate Administration?
Once the Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration have been issued, the Executor or Administrator (sometimes referred to generally as a “Personal Representative”) begins the process of administering the deceased person’s estate. The estate administration process generally involves some or all of the following tasks:
- Collecting information about the deceased person’s assets and debts, including preparing an inventory and obtaining any needed appraisals
- Gathering the decedent’s assets
- Filing any inventory or returns which may be required by the Probate Court
- Requesting publication of a Notice to Debtors and Creditors
- Directly notifying any known creditors
- Collecting amounts owed to the deceased
- Applying for life insurance proceeds for policies payable to the estate
- Providing beneficiaries named in beneficiary designations with the information needed to help them collect amounts payable to them from retirement accounts or life insurance
- Filing final state and federal income tax returns for the deceased
- Deal with any companies in which the deceased owned an interest
- Communicating with the deceased person’s heirs and beneficiaries about the estate and their interests in it
- Paying debts owed by the deceased
- Filing state and federal income tax returns for the estate
- Filing any gift tax returns which may be needed to report gifts made before death by the decedent
- Filing any needed state or federal estate tax returns
- Distributing the deceased person’s assets as directed by his or her estate planning documents. This item alone can present many complications, including, among many others, the need to figure out the best way to fund bequests or divide assets, the need to determine potential income tax consequences on distributions, and the need to make sure estate assets are appropriately managed and invested during the estate administration process.
The actual tasks needed in any given estate can only be determined based on the actual facts of the particular situation.
In many probate and estate administration matters, the Executor or Administrator may never have handled an estate before, and finds himself or herself in a complex and unfamiliar position, with many serious responsibilities and duties imposed by law. Family members dealing with the grief and stress of losing a loved one can be difficult to deal with, and family relationships may end up strained. The assistance of an experienced attorney can be tremendously valuable to the Executor or Administrator of an estate, and can make navigating unfamiliar tasks a much smoother and less daunting process.
The attorneys at Morgan & DiSalvo have helped many people deal with probate and estate administration matters, from very simple and straightforward estates to extremely complex ones. When working with someone who seeks to serve as Executor or Administrator of an estate, we help get them appointed and then provide them with guidance regarding how to proceed. When working with someone who is an heir or a beneficiary, we help them understand their rights and options, and assist them in communicating with the Executor or Administrator.
When you are going through this highly sensitive process, you need to work with an Atlanta probate attorney who is knowledgeable, experienced, flexible, and empathetic. Over the many years that they have been helping people achieve their estate planning goals, Morgan & DiSalvo have acquired a unique understanding of Georgia probate law and how best to make it work for their clients.We also help resolve disputes relating to estates, including Will contests, year’s support claims, and interpretation questions. We can even help remove an Executor or Administrator who is not carrying out his or her job properly.
We pride ourselves in providing comprehensive legal advice. We work to ensure that you understand your options and the pros and cons of each option. Do you have questions regarding probate or estate administration in Georgia? We are ready to help. Contact us with your probate or estate questions today.