When a person passes away, their estate (all of their possessions, not just their money) must be distributed to someone. It is necessary for the duties that surround this task to be appointed to a specific person to ensure that personal property and financial accounts are not left in limbo.
- When the deceased person has a legal will and has specifically named a person to handle these tasks, that person is called an executor of the will.
- However, if the deceased person has not created a will or has created a will but has not chosen a person to be their executor, in certain circumstances, the probate court could appoint a special administrator to handle these tasks.
Duties of a Special Administrator
- Move through the probate process
- Maintain property of the deceased
- Pay all outstanding bills, debts, taxes, etc.
- Move bank accounts into a new estate account
- Notify Social Security of the death
- Collect on life insurance policies
- Notify the beneficiaries, heirs and creditors of the person’s passing
- Settle creditor claims
- Sell property or stocks if necessary, with court approval
- Handle all taxation issues associated with the estate
- Distribute assets to the beneficiaries after all debts and taxes are paid
Safeguarding the Administrator Role
By having the administrator post a bond with the court, the estate will be protected if the administrator takes actions (or inactions) that cause the estate to lose money. This can be paid for by the estate or required by the administrator to pay out-of-pocket. The amount of the bond will differ depending on the size of the estate, but it can be quite expensive.
Ask for Help
If you are named an administrator and feel completely overwhelmed by this responsibility, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The Denver probate lawyers at Brown & Crona, LLC can help you understand your role and help get the paperwork and legalities underway. In some cases, the estate can pay for attorney fees. Hiring experienced professionals to navigate this complicated process is often well worth the investment: it will save time, reduce frustrations and can even end up saving money in the long run.
Contact Brown & Crona, LLC at (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online to learn more about how we can help.