I’m An Out Of State Executor – What Do I Do?
When someone dies they don’t take their possessions or money with them. Instead, their property is distributed according to the terms of their Will, trusts, and other estate planning documents. An executor takes on the responsibility of fulfilling the last wishes of a deceased person and a lot of work might need to be done in the city or state where that person lived. But what about an executor who doesn’t live in the state where the estate is being probated? What’s an out-of-state executor to do?
Hopefully, some estate planning documents have been preserved where they can be found. Best case scenario? Your family member has sat down and discussed their plans with family and friends so there are no surprises. Their life care plans are up to date and easy to find. Worst case scenario, no one has spoken about their plans and documents are not done or can’t be found.
The executor will locate and gather not only the Will, but also records showing any assets the person may have had. This may include bank accounts, real estate, life insurance policies, and valuable personal property like jewelry or vehicles. An executor working remotely may find it difficult to collect records and preserve property from another state.
Contact A Local Attorney
Even if the executor understands the laws of their own state, the decedent’s state may be very different. A local attorney with probate experience will know and understand the laws and can advise the out-of-state executor.
In fact, one of the best things an executor can do is contact an attorney and find out how to handle probating an estate. This is especially important when the executor lives far away. Of course, an attorney practicing in the decedent’s state will know the probate laws. Even more importantly, your local attorney may find it easier to locate and preserve assets and property of the estate.
Communication Is Critical
Once you have hired a local probate attorney, make sure you keep your contact information current. Also, take the attorney’s advice or ask questions if you don’t understand something you’re being asked to do. Keep channels of communication open.
Find out what you are supposed to do as executor. Are there limits to your duties? What are the best things to do immediately after someone’s death? How soon do you start probate? These are all questions you might want to ask your local attorney.
Acting as an out-of-state executor is difficult, but doable. A local Arizona attorney can smooth the road, making it easier for an out-of-state executor to fulfill a loved one’s final wishes.
Schedule Your Free Case Evaluation Today
No matter where you are located, we can handle your Arizona probate case. Feel free to call us at (480) 418-8448 to receive your free case evaluation. You will not be billed unless you hire us. We offer services for clients throughout Arizona, including Chandler, Gilbert, Sun Lakes, Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, and Apache Junction.