If you have been named the Executor of someone’s Will, you have a lot of responsibility. You need to carry out probate, pay debts, and transfer assets to various beneficiaries. The process can be complex and time-consuming. However, if you were given the responsibility, you must carry out your duties properly.
One of the first things you need to do after the testator passes away is to find all the assets and gather documents. This won’t be easy, so hiring a Bulverde estate planning attorney is recommended. However, if you wish to do it all on your own, you should know the steps.
Steps to gather assets for probate
- Go through the mail of the deceased.
People who own financial assets generally get mail about them every month. These include bank statements, investments, retirement accounts, etc. These may come every month or sometimes quarterly. Go through the mail thoroughly to look for assets and contact each institution.
- Check the hard copy records.
Even though the world has digitized significantly and many software have been released where you can keep digital copies of all of your important documents. However, many people still like to keep hard copies of their financial and ownership records. They usually keep these in a secure place, perhaps a vault in their home or a safe in the bank. Therefore, you may need to look at a few places before you find them.
These are some documents you need to look for:
- Financial records
- Wills and Trusts
- Tax Returns
- Professional advisors
- Insurance documentation
- Look for statements in email accounts.
This is an important step because many people do not receive physical paper statements anymore. Some people only receive their bills and invoices in their email accounts. One good place to start looking is their computer. You might even find password information to look into various institutions.
- Search for unclaimed property in other states the deceased might have lived in.
Unclaimed property is any property bought by the deceased in other states that were never “cashed out.” These could include stock, dividends or interest, or any kind of income that went unclaimed. There are official websites for every state’s unclaimed properties. You can simply google “Unclaimed property” to find links to your state’s website.
Handling legal paperwork related to probate can be an extremely complex task. Things can become even more difficult when the deceased is someone you were close with. Hiring an attorney can help in various ways and give you time to grieve. Contact one in Bulverde today.