Estate administration is something most people have little experience with and are unprepared for the complicated requirements of being an Executor.
The first step is to determine what kind of estate it is. Is there a Will or a Trust? Do you have them available? What are the assets and how do they pass. In other words, is it a joint account, joint with rights of survivorship or does it pass by beneficiary or by deed? Are assets held in more than one State? What, if anything, will have to go through probate? Are there life insurance policies?
If assets have been properly set up, the Commonwealth of Virginia makes it fairly easy for assets to pass to a spouse. Once the spouse inherits the assets, it is important to review all the assets and update who is to receive them when he or she passes.
Household Document Organization can assist with putting together a spreadsheet with all assets including account numbers, points of contact, telephone numbers, value at a certain date (usually end of the year), and how the asset will pass. If this spreadsheet is developed ahead of need and updated on at least an annual basis, the Executor will be able to easily answer the above questions and provide the information to the local Commissioner of Accounts in a timely manner.
Other administrative services that can be provided by Household Document Organization are the following:
1) Assisting with telephone calls/correspondence to Life Insurance companies,
2) Assisting with telephone calls/correspondence related to closing out accounts,
3) Ensuring estate bills are paid in a timely manner,
4) Keeping records of estate settlement expenses for income tax purposes,
5) Facilitating communication with other professionals involved with the estate settlement (i.e. Attorneys, CPA’s, Bankers, Financial advisors)
6) Notary services