The Experts at Leydorf Law Firm Can Guide You Through Estate Planning and Administration

Lansing, United States - July 31, 2023 / Leydorf Law Firm /

Settling the estate of a loved one that has passed on is hard. The emotional burden is tough enough. The additional weight of financial and legal responsibilities can often be crushing. Unfortunately, when someone dies with assets and debts, those issues have to be handled equitably. If an estate isn’t administered correctly, there can be legal and financial consequences.

Luckily, if you’re responsible for administering an estate, it’s not something you have to tackle on your own. Experienced professionals like those at Leydorf Law Firm can offer advice, set you on track, and help you avoid problems. Get in touch when you’re worried about estate administration in Lansing, MI.

What Is Estate Administration?

When someone passes away, they often leave behind bank accounts, property, credit cards, and a range of other assets and debts. While their descendants and inheritors usually aren’t responsible for the debts of the person that has passed on, the estate is responsible.

In simpler terms, their bank account balance must go toward paying their credit card debt. If they have other assets, like property or investments, those may also be sold to pay off debts. Some assets, like a home owned jointly with a spouse, can’t be used to settle debts.

If it seems like a complicated process, that’s because it is. It’s often a good idea to consult with an estate planning lawyer. If you’re planning for your final years, it can make the process of administering your estate much easier. If you’re an estate administrator, they can help you handle the process efficiently.

Probate and an Estate

The legal and financial process of settling assets and debts after death is called probate. It can require the involvement of the courts, and conflicts have to be brought before a judge. 

The person responsible for guiding the estate through the probate process is called an executor or administrator. They are responsible for completing most of the probate process.

Duties of an Administrator

The administrator or executor has a range of responsibilities. They must:

  • Locate all the assets and debts associated with the estate.
  • Notify debtors and beneficiaries of the person’s death.
  • Manage assets responsibly.
  • Pay debts and taxes.
  • Distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.

It seems like a straightforward process, but there are many opportunities to make a mistake. For example, who gets paid first if there aren’t enough assets to cover all the debts? If an administrator is found to be mismanaging an estate or failing to live up to their responsibilities, they can face consequences, including fines.

Seeking Assistance

Many administrators are relatives or friends of the deceased. They aren’t legal professionals and have no experience administering an estate. As a result, consulting a reliable lawyer is a good idea. They are more experienced and knowledgeable and can smooth some of the bumps in the road.

An even better idea may be to visit a lawyer to arrange your estate before you pass away. With a little forethought, making the process as simple as possible is possible.

Find Help With Estate Administration in Lansing, MI

Working with an experienced lawyer is the first step to simplifying estate administration. They can help guide you through the process and help you avoid many problems. Contact Leydorf Law Firm for help with estate administration and estate planning in Lansing, MI.

Contact Information:

Leydorf Law Firm

909 N Washington Ave
Lansing, MI 48906
United States

Contact Leydorf Law Firm
(517) 550-5505

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