Acting as an executor for family

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2019 | Estate Planning And Probate

When choosing who should be the executor of one’s estate, many people trust family with this task. However, handling an estate once a loved one has passed away can be more complex than grantors and executors realize. Minnesota residents might like some more information about dealing with an estate.

After a decedent passes, an executor handles estate affairs like paying off debts, distributing assets and handling tax matters. If there is no trust, an executor will still do these tasks but must also go through the probate process to validate a will. This could involve using estate assets for court costs and when working with attorneys. While this process takes time, not all assets must go through probate.

When designating beneficiaries, retirement accounts and life insurance death benefits do not go through the probate process. Real property also passes to joint tenants due to the right of survivorship, which typically occurs with spouses.

An executor may need some involvement when it comes to a family trust. When one spouse passes, the trust needs to be updated. This is often a good time to make other changes as well. This might involve removing some beneficiaries after divorce or adding new beneficiaries like grandchildren. Updating a trust is important because a trust becomes irrevocable and cannot be edited after both spouses pass away.

In addition to avoiding probate court, there are other reasons an individual or couple creates a trust. One reason includes the management of a complex or sizable inheritance. In other cases, a grantor may wish to provide specific instructions about when or how to distribute assets. Furthermore, a trust could be a necessity when one has a loved one with special needs in order for this person to still receive government assistance. One might wish to consult an attorney when handling the estate planning and probate process.