Estate Sale: Managing Parents’ Money and Final Expenses

Estate Sale: Managing Parents’ Money and Final Expenses
  • Opening Intro -

    Probate is one of the areas of the law that is complex enough to require its own legal specialty.

    There are so many things to keep track of and so many ways an untrained person can make enormous mistakes it becomes not only vital but mandatory that the person or persons tasked with the disposition of the estate get professional advice.

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That advice shouldn’t necessarily only be limited to an attorney.

Money Issues

The very moment you start looking at paperwork, you need to hire an accountant and, if necessary, give them limited power of attorney to operate on your behalf. Accountants and especially CPAs can be obligated as fiduciaries and therefore must act in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries. Your accountant will make provision for any potential tax liabilities you may face and can work with your attorney to ensure your personal financial situation is protected. This is a step that cannot be overlooked. Doing otherwise could subject you to personal financial liabilities far in excess of your ability to pay.

Jurisdictions

Where your deceased relative lives is going to be an issue right off the bat, because their estate may be subject to different laws than you are where you live. Professionals, like those at J Peterman Legal Group, know that many states have their own separate estate and inheritance taxes. It is important to make certain that you speak with an experienced individual who has experience in the state where the case will be filed. The reason this is important is because the difference between probate laws from state to state can have a dramatic effect on the case. Some states have different filing conditions and schedules, others have tax and asset stipulations. Make certain your attorney is qualified to navigate these different legal environments.

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Work Product

This could potentially be considered an obscure point, but it will help protect the estate and make certain nobody is able to tamper with the orderly processes of probate. Make sure your accountant and attorney are working together and that everything they produce is considered attorney work product. This will preserve the fiduciary relationship between all your professional advisors and prevent any future misunderstandings between beneficiaries.

Probate is a subject complex enough it is a primary subject in most law schools. Estates, trusts and various other kinds of legal structures require considerable expertise. Make sure your estate and family are protected by the best advice you can find.

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