Early asset distribution could complicate estate administration

After the death of a close loved one, you may feel emotionally raw. During this time, you may wonder how long your grief will last and what the loss of this person could mean for you and the rest of your family. As a result, you may want to spend time focusing on the emotional aspects of this type of event.

Of course, other factors may require your attention as well, such as the fact that the decedent's estate may need looking after. If the person named you as executor, you have the responsibility of carrying out necessary duties in order to settle the estate. Because this process can have its complications, you may want to avoid certain errors.

Asset distribution mistakes

One of your duties as executor will relate to gathering your loved one's assets and distributing them as necessary. However, distributing property may not be the first task you should complete. Because creditors and other individuals may have claims against the estate, you may need the assets to address those claims as well as pay any taxes. If you distribute property too early, you could find yourself personally responsible for paying those claims if the estate cannot cover them.

You may think that if you already know the amount of taxes owed and the outstanding debts your loved one had that you could hold back an appropriate amount and move forward with property distribution. However, this idea may not work as hoped, especially if you miscalculate money owed or if an unexpected claim comes against the estate.

Estate advertisement mistakes

Though you may feel that your loved one's death should remain a private family matter, certain information may still need to go into the public record. Because creditors and other individuals with legal standing have the right to lay claims against the estate, you will need to make a public notice providing information about probate proceedings and other aspects of the estate administration. If you do not properly do so, you may think that you have the estate settled only to have claims laid against it later.

Avoiding mistakes

Estate administration can be a time-consuming and draining process to complete. Executors often have many duties to attend to, and at times, the process can seem overwhelming. If you feel that you do not have the proper information to move forward with settling a loved one's estate, or if you would like assistance in doing so, you may wish to speak with an Arizona attorney.

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