It is hard enough to deal with the emotions of losing a loved one without the additional stress of having to clean up their financial affairs. Most people’s finances are not very well organized when they pass away, much less communicated to others. The more successful they were, the more complicated it can be for their heirs to make sense of their assets. The process can be overwhelming.
If you are designated as the executor or beneficiary of someone’s estate who has recently passed or who may pass away soon, we can make the transition easier for you. The following are a few examples of how we can help:
- Before a loved one passes away, ensure all wills, trusts, and other legal documents are up-to-date, consistent with their wishes, and properly executed without conflicting language. Also make sure all assets are properly titled and all beneficiary designations are correct, especially if a trust is involved. None of this can be changed after death.
- Compile a list of all assets, liabilities, and insurance policies. We will help you understand what they are and how they work.
- Review what each beneficiary is entitled to and evaluate which assets to keep and which ones to sell. For the ones that should be sold, we will help you determine the best timing and method of liquidation.
- Decide the best way to transfer ownership of assets to beneficiaries, and help you communicate with them.
- Ensure all assets entitled to a step-up in basis are properly adjusted at the custodian to avoid unnecessary taxes.
- Submit any life insurance claims.
- Work with your accountant and/or attorney to make sure all necessary final tax returns or estate tax returns are filed, and all legal entities are properly retained or dissolved.
Receiving an inheritance can be a huge benefit to you financially, but it can also be quite a headache at a time when you are already stressed. Our goal is to help make the transition as smooth as possible so you can focus on the joy of receiving the gift, as your loved one intended it to be received.