When a person is the personal representative of a deceased person's estate, there are many challenges that could potentially arise for them when it comes to the administration of the estate. One such challenge are difficulties in finding the information necessary to do the job right.
Some examples of information-location difficulties personal representatives sometimes face are:
- Problems finding out what exact estate planning documents the deceased person had and where these documents are located.
- Problems locating the various interested persons in order to notify them of the estate administration.
- Problems finding all the financial accounts the deceased person had.
There are things a person can do as part of their estate planning to make it easier for the future personal representative of their estate to find this sort of information when they pass away, and thus minimize the likelihood of these sorts of problems arising. One is to make a written financial inventory containing lists of one's estate planning and financial documents, financial accounts and relatives, friends and others who may have an interest in one’s estate and relevant background information on the things in these lists, such as locations and contact information. Such a financial inventory can be a great help to a personal representative.
As this underscores, there are ways that a person can make life easier for the future personal representative of their estate. Attorneys can give individuals advice on what they can do in their estate planning to try to reduce the likelihood of estate administration difficulties arising for the future personal representative of their estate. Attorneys can also give advice and help to personal representatives who have encountered difficulties when it comes to information-locating or other aspects of estate administration.
Source: Springfield News-Leader, "Estate planning: Your financial inventory," James Philpot, March 28, 2015