No will means a more complicated estate administration.
Facing the death of a parent is hard.
It is harder without a will.
Who will administer the will?
What happens if your parent also had a credit card debt and a second mortgage on his or her home?
Well, for a third-party response we turn to a recent nj.com post that asked “Who is responsible if dad dies with no will?”
The first step is neither expensive nor difficult.
You can be appointed as an administrator for the will.
As an administrator you may need to post a bond based on the value of the estate.
This step is often waived for executors named in a will.
Can you see why a will is helpful?
Does posting bond mean you are taking on the debts of your parent under your own name?
You are not personally responsible for them.
Even foreclosure on the home?
Heirs may be named in the proceedings, but you do not necessarily need to respond.
What if you do not want to be the administrator?
You are not obligated as an heir or family member to step in.
What if you already committed to this role?
The court must allow you to resign.
A successor fiduciary will need to be appointed.
Does it have to be a family member?
The court may appoint an attorney.
The administrator must be paid.
From the sale of the assets in the estate.
What if you do not want to administer the estate alone?
Can you share the responsibility?
Perhaps you have siblings.
You are all eligible to be appointed to act jointly as the administrator.
Do you forfeit your inheritance by refusing?
Still, the situation is not ideal.
Do not go it alone or make decisions without first contacting an experienced estate planning attorney for to weigh your options.
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to get your affairs in order.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: nj.com (February 23, 2017) “Who is responsible if dad dies with no will?”