What To Know About Probate As An Estate Administrator

Have you been named as the administrator of an estate, but you really do not know anything about what needs to be done? Here are a few questions that you likely have about the probate process.

Do You Have To Be The Estate Administrator? 

If you were assigned to be the administrator of an estate per the wishes of someone in their will, know that you do not have to take on the job if you do not want to. The court will end up assigning a new estate administrator, which will typically be a family member that was closest to the deceased person.

Who Pays For The Bills That Continue To Accumulate? 

Even though someone has passed away, there will continue to be bills that add up while the estate is going through probate. As the administrator, it is your job to pay for all those bills. This could include the monthly mortgage payment for a home, utility bills for gas and electric, and things of that nature. 

It is always a good idea to speak with the mortgage lender in this situation, because you may be able to halt all mortgage payments until the home is sold. Then you can pay off the remaining balance on the home in one large lump sum. 

When Can Heirs Receive Their Inheritance?

You likely have heirs that are coming to you and asking when they can receive their inheritance. The truth is that you won't know what their inheritance is until you've worked with creditors and paid off any remaining debts. Those debts must be paid off first before anybody can receive an inheritance, or else it's possible for the inheritance to be taken back.

Is There A Way To Avoid Probate? 

The probate process is the way to validate a will, so there is no real way around the probate process if there is a will. If your loved one set up a living trust before they passed, then inheritances will be passed on to those people that are in the trust. 

Is A Lawyer Needed To Go Through Probate? 

The legal process of going through probate can be very complicated. That's why it's recommended to work with a probate lawyer to ensure that everything is done properly. You do not want to run into a situation where someone does not receive their fair share of an inheritance and then blames you for it happening.