While it would be wonderful to think that your parents will live forever and always be in your life, that just isn’t the case. For many adult children, it can be extremely hard to deal with the death of a parent, especially when it is the last surviving one. No longer being able to see or speak to your parents ever again can be devastating and even depressing.
And while the emotions are certainly hard enough to deal with, there is also your parent’s estate to tackle. This becomes even tougher if there are other people – your siblings or other family members – who have an interest in the estate and you don’t all see eye to eye. Arguments on who gets what will only make what is a very tough time even tougher.
So, what is the best way to deal with the division of a deceased parent’s estate? Here are some tips and advice that can help you get through the process.
Follow All the Proper Legal Steps
This tip cannot be emphasized enough, as it’s very important that all the correct legal steps are taken when dealing with an estate. Unless you are an attorney yourself, there’s a good chance you don’t know what the “proper steps” are. Hiring a lawyer as soon as possible will help to make everything go smoother and provide a more favorable outcome for all.
An attorney will be able to advise you of the steps you need to take, what you can expect, and give you a timeline for the process. For example, they can speak to you about the importance of ascertainable creditor claims – describing what they are, how to serve notice to creditors, and what you are responsible for (the steps you need to take).
If there are other people who have a vested interest in the division of the estate and you don’t all see eye to eye, it may also be necessary to have a personal representative or legal personal representative named. This person could be a trustee or a guardian.
Try to Keep Emotions Out of the Legal Process
While this tip may sound impossible to do, when it comes to the division of a parent’s estate – especially when there are multiple people who have a vested interest, it’s best to keep emotions out of the process. You can still grieve and mourn the loss of your parent, but keep that out of the legal proceedings. By keeping the emotions out of the legal aspect, you’ll be able to move through the steps in a more effective and clear-headed manner.
Make Your Health a Priority
And while working through all the legal proceedings may seem like the most important thing, in reality, your emotional, mental, and physical well-being should be priority number one. This means giving yourself time to grieve, recognizing how big the loss is and accepting it, getting a little extra help such as a therapist or counselor if needed, and reminding yourself there are still plenty of great memories to be made in life.
Following each of these tips will help you to not only divide up your deceased parent’s estate quickly and properly, but can help you to move on the best you can.