The Reluctant Personal Representative Of A Family Member’s Estate
Estate planning lawyers always advised people to name someone they trust as personal representative of their estate and to notify that person as soon as they write the will, if not sooner. The more the testator and the intended personal representative talk about the estate plan during the testator’s lifetime, the better. Losing a close family member is hard enough, but only finding out after they die that you are responsible for acting as the personal representative of their estate is even harder. Even if your role as personal representative takes you completely by surprise, a Washington DC probate lawyer can help make the process less stressful.
Probate Isn’t Rocket Science, but It Isn’t Easy, Either
In the 1980s, Khosrow Akmal wrote a will, and named one of his cousins to act as personal representative of his estate. This was a wise thing to do; everyone who has minor children should write a will, but not everyone does. What the elder Akmal did was even smarter, though, because he also listed a friend as successor personal representative in the event that his cousin was unable to perform the task. His only mistake was not updating his will after that. When Khosrow Akmal died in 2019, neither the cousin he had listed as personal representative nor the friend he had listed as successor personal representative was able to act in that capacity. Thus, the task fell to his son Arya Akmal.
The younger Akmal has a Ph.D. and teaches physics at Montgomery College, but even with his talent and experience for making sense of complex problems, he still found probate more challenging than he had anticipated. The fact that the courts were rapidly changing their operations to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic was only one of the things that made the probate process stressful.
The biggest challenge Prof. Akmal faced in settling his father’s estate was simply that he had never experienced anything like it. Taking inventory of the assets his father had acquired in the decades that had passed since the will was issued was a much bigger job than he expected.
If you find yourself in this situation, experts advise you to contact professionals who helped manage your deceased relative’s finances; they may be able to help you fill in the gaps to get the information you need to settle the decedent’s estate. Locating every bank account and investment that your family member owned can take a long time, even if your family belongs to the 99 percent. Another time-consuming task is determining which of the assets need to go through probate and which can pass directly to the beneficiaries. If you don’t know where to begin, contact a probate lawyer. Hiring a lawyer for probate is not mandatory, but it makes your job as personal representative easier.
Contact Tobin O’Connor Ewing About Making Probate Painless
A probate lawyer can help you settle the estate of a deceased family member, even if you feel unprepared for the task. Contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing for help.