The personal representative you appoint to handle your affairs after your passing will have a lot of responsibility. Although it is never easy or enjoyable to talk about your final wishes, doing so can make the process easier for your loved ones in the future. Here are some tips to help you prepare your executor and make the estate distribution easier.
Work with an Estate Attorney
Be sure to inform your estate attorney who you have chosen as your personal representative and how to contact them. If you wish to keep the details about the estate private until your passing, your estate attorney will help. However, do ask them to draw up a financial power of attorney along with your medical power of attorney if you have not yet done so. This will help the executor with accessing and closing accounts. When your estate attorney is able to help with the probate, the entire process may be easier for everyone involved.
Keep All Insurance and Financial Information in One Place
If you have a life insurance policy, make sure the executor knows about it. They will need to send a certified copy of the death certificate to collect the proceeds. If you have more than one policy, knowing how many will help your personal representative know how many certified copies they will need, which will make the probate process move more quickly. Along that same note, keep a list of your debts and the lien holders of all property. The same goes for credit cards or any other type of debt you have.
Share Details with Your Family
Some people may choose an in-law or close friend as their personal representative with the understanding that their children may have a harder time with the passing. Make sure you inform everyone who your personal representative (executor) is, especially if they are not a family member. It is also advisable to keep the information for your estate attorney current as well.
If you have any unusual requests in your will or would like a specific item to be left to one child over another, make those requests known to everyone, not just the personal representative or one child. Being open with everyone while you are still here to answer questions will reduce the chances of a contested will or arguments between siblings.
Call Us if You Need an Estate or Probate Attorney
The attorneys at Wagstaff Law Office are able to carry out duties as probate and estate attorneys. If you are looking for one firm to handle planning your estate distribution, providing powers of attorney, and someone to assist with probate, call us at (727) 584-8182 or fill out our contact form. On the other hand, if you need a probate attorney to help with an estate, we can step in at any point in the process. We offer full family law services.