What do you do if a family member passes away and you have the responsibility of executing the will? The death of a loved one is never easy, and being responsible for what happens next can make the experience particularly challenging. No one can predict when someone will pass away. If you are unsure what to do when the time comes, these six steps can help guide you. For additional questions, reach out to a will lawyer from a law firm like Yee Law Group, PC.
- Review the Will
First things first: Find the will. Hopefully, someone disclosed the document’s location to you, but if not, here are some places to check:
- Around the home of the deceased in cabinets, drawers, and storage
- In a personal safe at home or on property
- In a safe deposit box at a financial institution
- With your family member’s lawyer
The will can serve as a blueprint for the steps you need to take.
- Arrange the Funeral
If there are any outlined instructions for funeral arrangements, this can help you with the next step of planning a memorial service. A local funeral home can help you put everything together.
- File the Will
Next, you need to file the will with the probate court in the county that your loved one resided in. With this step, you need to put together an inventory of all assets so the court can verify documentation.
- Secure Assets and Finances
Another big consideration following a death is how to manage finances. Because you need to figure out how to keep paying ongoing bills, securing a way to handle finances and debts should be a top priority. This is where an estate bank account can be useful for navigating financial activities.
- Distribute Remaining Assets
After covering any debts, the next thing you will need to do is distribute the remaining assets as outlined in the will. Many people leave special instructions for transferring gifts, money, and property. Contact beneficiaries to inform them of their inheritance.
- File Final Income Taxes
Once you have taken care of finances, you can finally file a final income tax. The Internal Revenue Service requires you to submit information on earnings from the first day of the tax year until the date of death.
- Close the Estate
The last step of the process is to close the estate bank account and submit a closing statement to the court. After this, you have no more duties as executor. Take some time to rest and heal.
If you have the responsibility of carrying out someone’s final wishes, a legal professional can help simplify the process. Get the assistance you need today!