Matthew S. Dana

Estate Administration/Probate

When someone passes away, it is usually a very difficult time for family and loved ones. It can also be a very stressful time between planning a funeral and trying to settle the estate of the decedent. More of us are facing these tasks as our parent’s age and die. Some of us are helped by parents who are thoughtful and organized and who have created an Estate Plan. Others must deal with unexpected deaths or loved ones who failed to plan properly and leave financial chaos behind. Even people who keep good records can leave challenges and difficulties for their survivors. One question you might be wondering is what do I do when someone dies? 

How do I go about settling and administering their estate? If you had a loved one that recently passed away, we can help you with the administration of the estate, whether they died with or without any Estate Planning documents.

Usually, one person is appointed to serve in settling an estate. If your parent had a will it should specify who is to serve as the executor or personal representative. If your parent had a trust it should specify who will serve as successor Trustee. The person named is responsible for making sure creditors are paid, assets are distributed and estate tax returns are filed. If you have been appointed as either the personal representative of successor trustee of an estate, and you need assistance to ensure that you are fulfilling your fiduciary duties, contact me.

If your parent died without a will or trust, Arizona Laws will indicate who’s in charge: usually a surviving spouse, if there is one, or an adult child or parent. A court hearing will be held to appoint someone, and there could be a battle if more than one person wants the role. If your parent or someone you know dies without a Will, we can help you with the administration process.

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