On January 5, 2015

Ending our three-part blog series 6 Tips for Personal Representatives Administering Estates, here, we will point out some final helpful tips for the people in charge of administering the estates of decedents.

Additional Tips for Personal Representatives Administering Estates

Tip 5 – Don’t forget about creditors and estate taxes.

Of all of our tips for personal representatives administering estates, the best tip to remember is that working with an attorney can be key to successfully administering estates.

Of all of our tips for personal representatives administering estates, the best tip to remember is that working with an attorney can be key to successfully administering estates.

Paying creditors of the estate, as well as the estate taxes, will be an important step to complete before the assets of the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries. Here’s what’s important to keep in mind when it comes to paying creditors and estate taxes as part of the estate administration process:

  • Don’t be hasty to pay creditors on a first-come-first serve basis. This could open you up to allegations that you gave some creditors special treatment over others and, in turn, to breach of fiduciary lawsuits.
  • Make sure a debt claim against the estate is valid before you pay it. The death of a person can bring all sorts of creditors out of the woodworks, and not all of these parties will have legitimate claims.
  • For estate taxes, you may have to file taxes both for the estate and for the decedent, and there may be various tax issues to consider in terms of filing jointly (with a surviving spouse), filing for a business that the decedent owned, etc.
  • There are generally strict deadlines for making estate tax payments, so it’s advised that personal representatives work with experienced professionals to understand and be in compliance with these deadlines.

Tip 6 – Know when to get professional help administering the estate.

Of all of our tips for personal representatives administering estates, this is the single most significant tip to remember. The bottom line is that:

  • Administering estates – even those that may seem modest – can end up being an extremely complicated process.
  • Making mistakes in the estate administration process can open personal representatives up to personal liability and serious problems (particularly if they are accused of breaching their fiduciary duties).
  • Having an experienced attorney helping personal representatives open, administer and close estates is the best way of facilitating the process.

Denver Probate and Estate Administration Attorneys at JR Phillips & Associates, PC

Do you need help administering an estate and/or getting through probate? If so, you can turn to the probate and estate administration lawyers at JR Phillips & Associates, PC. We provide a thoughtful, comprehensive approach to our clients’ estate planning, elder law and other legal needs, and we take pride in helping each of our clients and their families find the best solutions for them.

Let’s discuss your options for proceeding with the administration of an estate during an initial consultation. To schedule this meeting, call us at (303) 741-2400 or email us using the contact form at the top of this page.

From our offices in Denver, we serve clients throughout the southwest and southeast Metro Area, including (but not limited to) people in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Parker, Aurora, Greenwood Village and Englewood.

Categories: Estate Administration, Probate, Trustees, Executors & Fiduciaries