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What To Do as a Trustee When a Loved One Passes Away

When a loved one passes away, it is often a difficult and stressful time for the family members. The administration of their estate can be complicated and overwhelming for a Trustee or Executor. Please see below for an Executor/Trustee checklist so you can prepare and begin administration of your loved one’s estate.

  1. Contact Chauvel & Glatt to begin administration of the Decedent’s estate.
  2. Obtain the death certificate from the health department in the county where the Decedent died (We can do this for you or you can obtain this information from the mortuary.)
  3. Begin inventorying all assets of the Decedent and locate the Grant Deed containing the legal description of any real property belonging to the Decedent.
  4. If Decedent did not have a Trust, probate may be required of certain assets. Contact Chauvel & Glatt to discuss this in detail and determine the proper course of action for your situation.
  5. If the Decedent did have a Trust, administration of the Trust begins at the time of the death. Proper notice to the beneficiaries and heirs are required. The Trustee must also ensure that he/she is fulfilling fiduciary requirements of managing trust assets. Contact Chauvel & Glatt to understand what is required of you.
  6. If real property is involved, the Trustee must submit and record an affidavit death of Trustee with the County where the real property is located.
  7. If non-real property assets are involved (such as bank accounts or stock accounts), the Trustee must step in to replace Decedent in management of those assets.
  8. An appraisal of the value of any real property belonging to the Decedent may also be required, as well as a valuation of non-real property assets such as bank accounts or stock accounts.
  9. Maintain all receipts and expenditures for the Decedent’s funeral expenses, tax payments, and any payments made on the upkeep of trust or estate assets.
  10. Do not sell, donate, or give away any assets belonging to the Decedent unless you first speak with an attorney. Selling, donating or gifting away assets without consulting an attorney about your rights to do so can cause problems among the beneficiaries later on.
Here at Chauvel & Glatt, we know that administration of your loved one’s estate is not easy. We are here to guide you through the administration and advise you on your duties and rights as an Executor or Trustee. Contact us today to prevent delay and ensure a smooth administration of your loved one’s estate.

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