How to Administer an Estate

Concord, NH Probate Lawyer

Depending on the decedent and their estate, administering an estate may be a somewhat complicated task. In order to begin estate administration, an executor or administrator must be chosen. If a will exists, the deceased most likely selected an executor to manage and distribute their estate according to their wishes stated in the will. When a will does not exist, the person died intestate, and the New Hampshire probate court must choose someone to carry out estate administration. An individual elected by the state is known as an administrator. The roles of an executor and administrator are the same; they are just selected in a different manner. Being an estate administrator or executor means that a person must demonstrate good faith and administer the estate as the decedent desired. If you are interested in learning more about how to administer an estate, please contact our Concord probate attorney at Hebert & Dolder PLLC.

The Process

An estate consists of real and personal property. Such things include real estate that is solely owned by the decedent, cars, paintings, jewelry, and other items that the deceased had possession of before passing away. Property or items that are co-owned or placed in trusts may not be involved in the probate process. An experienced attorney has the ability to determine which objects are included in probate. The New Hampshire intestacy statue has regulations as to who is to receive what of a person's property and assets if they die without a will. For example, if the decedent is survived by their spouse, the spouse will receive the entire estate if children and parents are no longer alive/do not exist. If a spouse and a child who is related to the decedent and the living spouse exist, the spouse receives the first $250,000 of the estate, as well as half the balance.

A petition for estate administration, the will (if one exists), a certified copy of the death certificate, and other paperwork must be filed with the probate court in order to begin the probate process. When the court approves the paperwork and documents, the administrator or executor must inventory the assets within 90 days. Once this is completed, the estate must be managed. This means that for six months, the estate must remain open. If claims wish or need to be filed, this is the period in which to do so. If claims have been settled, the estate may close after six months. Debts must be paid in a certain order according to New Hampshire law, and oftentimes assets and property must be sold in order to pay such debts. The executor or administrator must also file all federal and state tax returns for the decedent and their estate. When these steps are completed, the probate process is finished. Executors, administrators, and their attorneys are entitled to compensation, which is based on the nature of the estate.

Find Out How to Administer an Estate with the Help of Our Probate Attorneys in Concord

Without a probate attorney's assistance, it may be difficult for one to determine what paperwork is needed to start the probate process, and what can and cannot be counted when inventorying the assets. If beneficiaries or creditors attempt to contest the will or estate, more problems may arise. The Concord probate lawyers at our firm have helped hundreds of clients successfully resolve their probate issues, and we may be able to assist you in resolving yours. Please contact our team at Hebert & Dolder PLLC.

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Hebert & Dolder PLLC - Concord Business Lawyer

Concord Office:
95 N State St,
Concord, NH 03301.
Phone: (603) 259-7061.
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