What is troublesome about handling a will without assistance?

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2021 | Estate Planning |

When a loved one passes away, the feeling of grief could prove overwhelming. However, responsibilities may follow the passing of a spouse, parent, or another close relative. If the decedent had a will, and the document needs to go through probate. Attempting to probate or otherwise execute a will in Florida without an attorney’s assistance may prove problematic. The process may involve several steps, and an attorney could assist an executor with carrying things out.

Reporting requirements and other matters

Be mindful that probate involves more than distributing assets. Creditors become interested parties and may make claims on funds to pay debts. Legal requirements often exist to notify creditors of debts. Tax issues also arise, and they are not exclusive to inheritance tax. Someone must file the decedent’s personal federal income tax and pay any obligations. Failure to pay debts or mislead creditors could lead to legal troubles.

Also, an executor must follow the will’s directives. Not distributing assets as stated could also create problems. And does the executor understand all his/her responsibilities? Is there any confusion about the language in the will? An attorney could assist with clearing up any concerns about requirements, obligations, and legal explanations.

A thorough approach to probating the will

Someone without experience in probate and wills may not realize a death certificate, and a letter of testamentary might be necessary when performing specific duties. And, for that matter, what are the responsibilities? Closing bank accounts and shutting off credit cards might be two vital steps.

Homeowners’ insurance may require adjustments. Purchasing an estate policy may be necessary, and the original insurance policy might soon become void.

Estate planning steps could also involve making sure the named executor and others understand their responsibilities. Contacting the attorney who helped write the will may prove advisable.