Estate Administration

Real Life Stories

John Doe died; his son lived in the house with him up until his death. The estate was never probated in court after the death. View Story

When an individual passes, certain assets of the decedent may be transferred by contract, such as joint and survivorship property, payable on death accounts, transfer on death property, and most life insurance and retirement benefits.  Other assets will be transferred through proceedings in Probate Court.  Most persons die owning both probate and non-probate assets, all of which generally require some type of documentation to complete the transfer.  There are advantages and disadvantages in using non-probate or probate assets.

It is the Court’s responsibility to ensure the probate assets are collected, maintained, and distributed among the decedent’s heirs, beneficiaries, and/or creditors according to the direction of the decedent as expressed through a will, trust, or intestacy law.  This process is known as the administration of a decedent’s estate.

Estate administration checklist:

  • Pre probate tasks
  • Obtaining “letters”
  • Inventory and protection of assets
    • Inventory and value assets
    • Transfers and Re titling
    • Locate real property and maintain it
    • Locate personal effects
    • Review tax impact on estate
    • Review fire and disability insurance
  • File and pay debts and expenses
  • File tax returns
  • Distribution