There Was No Will. How Do You Settle The Estate?

Sometimes, death comes at a time when we are not yet prepared. If a loved one has passed away and didn't have the time to write a will, you might be wondering what happens next with their estate. Here is who you can consult for help. 

Talk to an Estate Attorney

The first thing to do is speak with an estate attorney to handle the issue. They play a few different roles. The first matter will be to determine what debts the person had. Some debts can be collected after a person passes away. This could include debts from creditors as well as a repayment of premiums paid by medicare, for instance. A lawyer will know how to find out what the loved one owed. These debts must be repaid before anything else can be done with the estate. 

The next step would be to figure out who the rest of the estate legally belongs to. If you are a spouse, there is a good chance this is you. Children also have legal inheritance rights, so again, consult your lawyer about the appropriate split of assets. 

Contact an Estate Sales Agency

Before you can determine a fair split of an estate, you might need to first liquidate the estate. This is best left to an agency for estate sales. Their job is to find the right buyers for all of the physical assets left when your loved one passed away. They will attempt to get the highest cash amount for these items, so that the money will be split up among the surviving family members who are the legal inheritors of the estate. If there are items you want to keep, that can generally be arranged in the will. If you are a spouse who shared the possessions with your spouse, then generally, the belongings stay with you; anything you don't want to keep can still go to an estate sale. 

Consult with Other Inheritors 

There might be certain assets that benefit one person more than another. Property might benefit a child who is starting their family, while cash could benefit you or another family member. In the absence of a will that says who gets what, it's up for some discussion. Of course, your lawyer will arbitrate, making sure that the assets are split according to the percentages designated by the law. In short, while the death of a close family member is difficult, the professionals who handle afterlife asset management are there to make this part of the process a little bit easier. 

For more information, contact companies like Remember When Estate Sales, LLC.