The Parties

The parties nominated in the decedent’s Last Will & Testament can serve as Executor of the decedent’s estate. The order of parties listed matters a great deal when determining of who gets appointed first. Should there be any parties prior to any other listed party, wishing to serve, those nominated must renounce their right to serve first. For example, if the following were named in the following order:

  1. John Doe
  2. Steve Doe
  3. Jane Doe
  4. Stephanie Doe

and Stephanie wishes to serve, she’ll need to seek a renunciation from John Doe, Steve Doe, and Jane Doe before she can apply to the courts to become Executor of the Estate. Should any of the prior parties not resign, Stephanie cannot serve as Executor of the Estate.

The only party free to apply without a renunciation is the first nominee.

8/23/19 – KLD – What do I need to bring with me when consulting with an attorney?

There’s nothing wrong with not knowing what to bring when you meet with an attorney to discuss the probating your loved one’s estate. However, for those who don’t like to go too long without a plan, this one’s for you.

The first thing to know about probate is that it’s not friendly to our rainforests – many trees suffer at the hands of probate. While our court systems work towards catching up with the future of communications, in the meantime, we’re still pushing paper for all of our solutions.

For this reason, we always ask that the following documents be made accessible to us at this time before all else:

  • At least 5 death certificates
  • Funeral invoice showing a zero-dollar balance owed or stamped “Paid in Full” – if not yet paid in full, please confirm with the attorney at your meeting
  • Bills, outstanding invoices and statements for decedent – before and after date of death
  • Uncashed checks or cash belonging to the decedent
  • List of contacts and contacts’ information at financial institutions where decedent held assets
  • List of contacts and contact’s information for creditors of the estate or the decedent, or invoices/bills/statements
  • Decedent’s original Last Will and Testament and Codicils
  • Decedent’s original Trust documents

The above documents plus any questionnaires you might have to complete to disclose financial and personal information related to the decedent will equip your attorney with the best advice you can receive at the initial meeting. In estate administration, there’s no such thing as too much information or paperwork. And when you’re paying for the consult, it’s best to be prepared.