The administration of a deceased person’s estate can be a complicated matter. In many cases, this is due to the size and complexity of the estate itself, and in other cases, the party who is tasked with administering the estate is not qualified to do so. That is why many families hire a trusted attorney to handle fiduciary duties related to estate administration.
Following is brief overview of fiduciary duties in Minnesota estate administration:
In order to distribute estate assets to heirs and beneficiaries, the administrator will need to collect everything first. Tracking down assets in retirement accounts, bank accounts, other counties or states, and even hidden in the decedent’s home can be a challenge. It is best to have help from an attorney who is familiar with these matters.
Inventory the assets
Effective estate administration requires keeping a thorough record of everything. Once the administrator has collected all of the assets, a detailed inventory will need to be created.
If the decedent’s creditors are not aware of the passing, they will continue with any relevant billing as normal. The administrator is responsible for informing creditors and other account holders of the death.
Once creditors are aware of the passing, they will likely file a claim for any debt the decedent still has. The administrator will need to review these claims and settle them as needed.
Sometimes, to settle a debt or per the decedent’s wishes, selling assets from the estate is necessary. From selling a coin collection to selling a home, the administrator will need to be sure the assets are sold for a fair price.
Get the information you need
Before you appoint someone as your estate administrator, make sure you know what the job demands. Consult with an estate planning attorney to confirm what an administrator needs to do and who is best suited for the job.
To learn more, please see our overview of estate administration and breach of fiduciary duties in Minnesota.