Personal Injuries: Basic Knowledge For You

Why the Executor or Administrator of an Estate May Need an Attorney

Serving an administrative role in handling an estate is an important duty. It also carries several legal obligations that can lead to trouble if you don't handle them carefully. Let's look at a few reasons why you might want to hire an estate administration attorney.

Civil Liability Risks

When someone assumes the job of executor or administrator of an estate, they also accept a role as a fiduciary. In the context of an estate, the fiduciary obligation means the administrator must make a good-faith effort to protect the financial interests of the beneficiaries. Notably, beneficiaries have the right to sue the administrator to recover damages.

Suppose the centerpiece of an estate was a very large house. However, the house's foundation wasn't in the greatest condition. If the foundation fails during the estate process, the administrator is supposed to use funds from the estate to address the problem. By failing to fix the problem, the administrator might be liable for damages to the beneficiaries if the house sells for significantly less than expected.

Documentation and Bookkeeping

At the other end of the spectrum, an administrator also has to file a lot of paperwork with the court. They have to account for where the money and assets went. Also, they have to show the court their efforts to contact beneficiaries, especially if they couldn't find a particular one.

You will need to submit a lot of paperwork to the court. An estate administration attorney can help you determine which forms are necessary. Likewise, a lawyer can help you fill the paperwork out and present the bookkeeping to the court.

Judge's Questions

Even in the tamest of estates, judges will have questions about the administration. The court will at least want to know how the process is going. Also, the judge may have questions about measures taken to enact the will, interpret the grantor's intent, and look out for the interests of the beneficiaries. Whenever you interact with the court, it's wise to have an estate administration attorney walk you through the answers before you respond to questions.

Dealing With Beneficiaries

An executor or administrator needs to be above reproach whenever they deal with beneficiaries. You don't want to give the impression you don't care about their concerns, for example. Likewise, you want to assure all beneficiaries that you're working hard on their behalf. An estate administration attorney can advise you about how to address beneficiaries' needs and concerns.

Be sure to contact an estate administration attorney for more information about this process. 

About Me

Personal Injuries: Basic Knowledge For You

I have worked as a legal office assistant for about 20 years. The office specializes in personal injury claims, and many clients are looking for settlements. I have great compassion for the individuals I see, and most people are looking for money to pay their bills. Unfortunately, insurance claims are difficult and clients often file the wrong paperwork. They don't see many doctors due to costs, and settlement offers are generally low. I know that lawyers can help to raise claims substantially. They know the law and they can offer advice to clients so good results are seen. I want you to learn some basic information about personal injuries, insurance settlements, and the general claims process. Your rights and needs are important, but it's difficult to secure a settlement if you know nothing about the law. Gain some knowledge today, so your personal injury decisions are the right ones.

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