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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

Domestic violence was a part of my family's life for years. When I made the decision to leave with my children, I had to rely on the law to provide the protection we needed. Sometimes, the system does not work as fast as we want. I soon learned that going at it alone without any guidance caused significant delays. I created this blog to help others who are seeking legal means to deal with an abusive ex. By making the right moves, it is possible to get the necessary protections in place so that you can also live a happier and healthier life.

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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

You've Been Appointed Executor: Now What?

by Gina Hill

Mixed feelings are perfectly normal for those who've learned that they have been appointed executor (or personal representative) for an estate. This appointment can seem a bit overwhelming, especially if you are not certain what your duties will entail. Before too much panic sets in, however, you should certainly take a moment to relish the honor; only the most trusted and responsible of friends and family members are asked to perform this duty for the deceased. Having a general idea of some initial executor duties ahead of time is a good idea, since the moment your responsibilities begin can also be a turbulent and emotional time.

1. Think Twice Before Accepting

While it is an honor to be asked, this task may not be for you. The responsibilities can be considerable, especially if the estate is large or complicated. Being an executor can be very time consuming and stressful, and being able to make good decisions when it comes to carrying out the wishes of the deceased can be challenging for almost everyone. It's important to know that if you are found to have mismanaged the estate, you could be held liable. Make sure that you do yourself and everyone else a favor and ask the testator to reconsider their choice if you have any doubts about accepting the job.

2. Gather Important Documents

Learning as much as possible about the financial affairs of the estate as soon as possible is vital, so gather together the following soon after the death of the testator.

  • The will: This document if often kept in a safe, lock box, or safety deposit box at a bank. In the event that a copy cannot be located in a timely manner, the estate attorney can provide you with a copy.
  • Burial and life insurance policies. Make this one of your top priorities, since often the funeral arrangements will depend on the funds available. It is, by the way, one of the duties of the executor to ensure that funds are available for the burial.
  • A trust: This legal document is similar to a will in its intent, and the provisions of a trust override any mentioned in the will. A trust will name a personal representative, known as the trustee, to oversee the contents of the trust. A trust can include bequests just like a will.
  • Safety deposit boxes: This location can yield far more than just copies of the will and insurance papers; it can also contain items that belong to the estate, such as jewelry, stocks, and bonds.
  • Vehicle titles and real-estate deeds.
  • Savings and checking accounts.
  • Tax returns.
  • Investment accounts.
  • Death certificates. These are commonly available a few weeks after the death, and you should take care to order quite a few copies. You will be providing these to many entities, such as Medicare, the Social Security Administration, creditors, and more.

Once the will is filed in probate court, your duties may continue, but the balance of tasks during probate are minor compared to the initial tasks. You may have a slight reprieve during probate, with less duties, but you will still have some responsibilities for paying the bills of the estate and maintaining the real estate.

To learn more, contact a probate attorney, such as one at Flaccus Law.

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