Being an administrator for an estate is more than an honorary title. The administrator has numerous duties and obligations. When a loved one asks you to be their estate administrator, you feel honored and obligated to accept. You don’t realize administrators spend many hours a week, possibly for years, fulfilling their duties to the decedent’s estate. These legal obligations must be fulfilled at a time when you are mourning.
The administrator must take an oath of office, swearing to perform duties as an officer of the court. As the administrator you are responsible for contacting all government agencies such as Medicare, Social Security Administration and the IRS. The administrator has to file the deceased’s tax return.
Other administrator duties are to locate and contact creditors, prepare and file all documents reported to the probate court, work with the funeral home for funeral arrangements and list an inventory of personal possessions of the deceased including a value for every single item. All assets must be kept completely separate and estate accounts must earn interest in a federally insured bank, and property must be maintained and insured at all times. The administrator can be held personally liable for any estate losses due to improperly administrating the estate.
Neither the probate judge nor any court employees are allowed to give legal advice or help fill out forms. Probate courts advise administrators to hire an attorney for legal help and to protect themselves.
The administrator is the main contact person for the judge, lawyers, creditors, family members, and anyone who makes a claim to the estate. Administrators have to protect the estate from any scam artists filing fraudulent claims for property in probate. You are also responsible for mediating family disputes and deciding how family heirlooms will be divided.
The stress takes a financial, physical and mental toll. On average 85% of heirs receive no inheritance after the federal taxes, states taxes, court costs, attorneys’ fees and creditors are paid. The longer the probate process continues, the more duties the administrator is responsible for and the less money the heirs receive.
An administrator can sell the deceased’s assets during probate with the heirs’ approval. Selling property gives more money to loved ones rather than to the attorneys dragging out the probate process.
Simon Volkov is a real estate investor with years of experience working with probate properties. He can help an administrator navigate through the probate court red tape and ease the stressful burdens of the probate process. You don’t have to spend another sleepless night dealing with creditors, lawyers and judges. Go to the website and fill out the probate form now.