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Handling a Parent's Estate in Cary, North Carolina

My Mom or Dad Died, What Do I Do?

Losing a parent can be tragic. Losing an inheritance doesn't have to be. Hopefully, your mom or dad planned properly. For more information about planning CLICK HERE.

The financial cost of administering estates has been estimated to be between 5% and 10% of the estate! The expense goes up when mistakes are made in both the pre-planning and the post-administration. The typical greatest two costs are 1. Attorney's fees and 2. Court costs. Proper planning can minimize or eliminate these expenses.

I hope you've read my "What to do when a loved one dies?" web page.

Far too often I hear from the 'executor' child that her sibling(s) went into their parents' home and started taking things. Sometimes they did it because their mom or dad told them they wanted them to have those things, but sometimes they did it because "money changes people".

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SECURE the house! This is especially important and required if you are the executor of the Will. You have a duty to protect the estate assets, obey the law, follow the Will, and report everything to the Court.

GET and KEEP Receipts! Many times the "responsible" child is the executor, spends countless hours administering the estate, pays for things out of his or her pocket, and then not only does she go unthanked but also has to "foot the bill". You don't have to do this if you get and keep all the receipts of all expenses you pay.

BE FRUGAL and PRUDENT! The law does acknowledge personal preferences very well, especially if it's not clearly spelled out in the Will. When you are paying for the funeral, be careful. If mom's or dad's Will says "pay funeral expenses out of my estate" the law will interpret this as the typical basic service. While funeral home bills are typically not scrutinized, any gatherings, travel expenses, or alternate events celebrating the life will get close scrutiny and be denied reimbursement from the estate. If you, as the executor, used "estate funds" or "fronted" the money yourself, you may be on the hook to cover that expense without a legal right of reimbursement.

For more information about Probate CLICK HERE.

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