By Susan M. Graham, Certified Elder Law Attorney, Senior Edge Legal, Boise, Idaho
You may be nominated by a family member or friend to handle their affairs when they die. It is certainly a compliment and an honor, but also a huge job. You may want to think twice before you accept, or consider hiring professionals to assist you.
There is a long list of steps that need to be taken and the time period to complete the process is easily a year or more.
Some steps are easy, such as changing the locks on the house and making sure the mail is redirected to your address.
Many steps can be more difficult, such as preparing a proper accounting, investing the assets appropriately during the period of administration so you don’t lose money, settling family disputes and arranging for care for a dependent family member. It is often difficult to get through this process and have family relationships remain on a good footing.
An important first step for the person signing a Last Will and Testament or Trust is to talk to the person they are appointing to handle their affairs to see if they are willing to take the job. That too is a good time to bring up any special concerns that either person may have about the job and the process, which should help when the time comes.