When someone dies and an estate plan is in place, the business of managing that estate falls to the “Successor Trustee” or “Executor.” This area of law is “Trust Administration” or “Estate Administration.”
Usually it is a good idea to consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer, such as me, after the death of a loved one to make sure you are aware of the steps necessary to wind down the deceased person’s affairs. I can provide you with a checklist of tasks that must be accomplished when someone dies and help you each step of the way, if needed.
TRUSTEE DUTIES AND LEGAL OBLIGATIONS
It is important for the Trustee or Executor to not commingle personal funds with the deceased person’s funds and to keep perfect records of the financial accounting including any out of pocket expenses incurred (such as funeral, burial, medical) and reimbursements taken.
You also need to know about filing the deceased person’s final tax return, and an estate tax return, if necessary, and what to do about any “creditors” that were still owed money at the time of death, including issues involving a mortgage. I can also assist you with understanding the general banking and real property rules governing trust administration.