If your parents appointed you the executor of their Pennsylvania estate, you have likely been talking with them about their wishes. While you may understand who should receive what property, do you know what steps to take once they pass away?
According to Kiplinger, executing the instructions for distributing the estate’s assets is only a small part of your responsibilities. You must also track debts and handle claims from creditors and individuals claiming a portion of the estate. Being an executor is a time-consuming job and can have financial implications if handled incorrectly. Taking care of certain details quickly can help you administer the estate smoothly.
Change the locks
Grieving takes time, as does honoring your parent as they deserve. Changing the locks on the house, any storage areas and safe deposit boxes can ensure the security of the property. If your parent rented the home, you might need a court order before making the change.
Family members often try removing items they want from the parent’s home without regard for the decedent’s wishes. It would be best if you took inventory of the contents as soon as possible. Place the list of all accounts, assets, liabilities and debts in one place with login credentials for online accounts.
Open a bank account
Handling financial details typically involves paying bills and selling assets. Opening a bank account for the estate can help you keep it separate from your property. This can minimize any questions about assets and payments later.
Create a calendar of deadlines
Organization is key when administering a loved one’s estate. After you file with the court, you can act on behalf of the estate. Completing forms, court dates, emails and phone calls may fill your days. Creating a calendar with deadlines for the forms, filing taxes, notifying creditors and contacting heirs can help you stay organized.
Understanding your requirements as an estate administrator before starting the process can help you act and take precautions as needed.