After funerals at funeral homes in Englewood, OH, administrators that the deceased have appointed will handle the affairs of their estates. If you’ve been appointed as the administrator of a loved one’s estate, and you haven’t administered an estate before, you may be wondering what you’re supposed to do.
There are many legal and financial steps that you will need to take in administering your loved one’s estate. These can be daunting, and they can be complicated if the estate is in disarray or scattered in several different places.
Estate administration is the process used to bestow your deceased loved one’s assets and property to the people they have named as beneficiaries in their will.
If the property that is solely owned by your deceased loved one is part of the estate, regardless of the overall value of the estate, then it must go through probate court in Ohio, unless it is included, with the rest of the estate, in a living trust.
However, there is non-probate property, which does not have to go through probate court, but instead goes directly to survivors or beneficiaries. Non-probate property can include:
To start the estate administration process, there are several things you should do.
The first thing you will need to do is to secure all the tangible property in the estate. Once the probate process begins, you will need to have accurate values assigned to all the property in the estate. If family members start taking property before you can take a full inventory of the estate, it will be difficult to determine the actual value of the estate.
Once you’ve secured the tangible property of your loved one’s estate, you don’t have to rush to do anything else right away. You and your family members need to take time to grieve your loss. Most matters related to property and financial assets can wait.
However, there is one financial matter you need to handle quickly: Social Security Administration needs to be notified of your loved one’s death 30 days after they die. Your funeral home may take care of this notification, so be sure to ask the funeral director about this when you meet with them to make funeral arrangements.
Try to file your loved one’s will with the probate court in a timely manner (probate could take up to a year to complete, especially with larger estates).
Next, you’ll need to notify all creditors, heirs, and beneficiaries of the probate of your loved one’s estate. Generally, an obituary published in a local newspaper will satisfy this requirement.
Pay all the administrative expenses of the estate. This can include things like mortgage payments, storage rental fees, and utility bills. These accounts must be kept current throughout the probate process.
Medical bills and taxes are considered final bills, so they will not be paid until probate is over.
File a final income tax return (if necessary) for your deceased loved one. If the estate doesn’t have any income, you don’t have to file a tax return.
Next, distribute the property of the estate to creditors and beneficiaries.
The last thing you will do is to file a final account with the probate court. This will include tax filings and payments, payments to creditors, and distributions of assets and property to beneficiaries.