The final stage, after all the assets have been marshaled, is to prepare an accounting, which explains all the estate’s transactions to the beneficiaries, and to deliver the bequests. Final distributions to beneficiaries must be documented with receipt-and-release agreements, to protect the fiduciary from liability.
We will prepare all the formal documents for you through each stage of the process, and will also see to it that any other required tasks – filing taxes, selling a house, negotiating with relatives – are settled responsibly and in a timely manner.
How long does all of this take?
There are so many variables that there’s no clear answer to this question. A straightforward estate can be settled, start to finish, in perhaps three months. An estate organized in a trust can sometimes be settled in just a few weeks. But various complexities can easily extend the process to a year or even multiple years. We will always do our best to give you a realistic sense of what process is required, and how far along we are.
What does it mean to be the Executor / Administrator?
The essential functions of an executor are to gather the assets of the decedent, liquidate them as necessary, pay any bills or debts of the decedent, and then distribute the final proceeds to the beneficiaries. This is all conceptually quite simple, and it can be relatively straightforward. There can also be complexities involved with any of these steps, and in the overall management of the estate settlement process.