Estate Administration — What is Involved?

When a Person Dies – What Comes Next?

When a family member or friend dies we naturally wonder – “What comes next?”. For those individuals “What comes next?” is pretty much of a mystery. Whether the decedent’s situation is handled by beneficiary designations for individual assets, or by a court-filed probate proceeding, or by a trust created by the decedent during lifetime, the three basic steps are:

1) The decedent’s assets must be inventoried and valued. This is essential for tax purposes and for distribution purposes.

2) The decedent’s legitimate financial obligations must be satisfied by payment or agreement. This is necessary for the beneficiaries to get a clear title to any assets that are ultimately distributed to them.

3) After the first and second steps have been taken, the decedent’s assets are transferred to those persons named as beneficiaries in the decedent’s Will or trust.

Of course, to get from step 1 to step 3 requires a fair amount of paperwork. Some of that paperwork can be accomplished by a competent lay person. However, the not-so-simple paperwork requires the services of an attorney well-versed in estate administration proceedings and the related areas of taxation. Arizona Estate & Trust Law is well-qualified to assist clients in all types of estate administration proceedings.

 

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