The individual named in your will as your personal representative has several responsibilities after your death. You may help the probate process go smoothly by compiling important details about your private affairs and assets.
As noted by the AARP, your estate’s executor needs to know where you have hidden your private information. You may choose to create a list of your online accounts and passwords. Your representative could then log in to close your email, utility and social media accounts.
An estate’s executor needs access to asset records
To facilitate the probate process, take an inventory of the assets included in your will. As noted by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, your executor needs records of your financial accounts. You could create a file that contains your bank and stock brokerage account statements.
Your executor has responsibility for transferring ownership of your real estate and other properties. You may provide your chosen individual with a file containing deeds, titles and mortgage or loan account balances. Before the probate court transfers assets to your heirs, your executor must settle your unpaid debts.
Your personal representative needs to act fast
When you die, your representative must obtain a copy of your death certificate and contact the Social Security Administration. If you have an insurance policy, your representative needs to notify your carrier of your death so that your beneficiaries receive the proceeds.
Your credit cards need canceling. If your home remains vacant, it may attract thieves who hope to break in or steal untouched mail. In some cases, heirs lose patience and attempt to take ownership of assets, which may cause problems with the probate court.
An individual experienced in probate matters could help your heirs move through probate quickly. Many tasks go into settling an estate through probate court, and you may wish to discuss your private matters with your chosen representative.