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Newark Family And Estate Law Blog

As you plan your estate, you want to make your executor’s job as easy as possible. If you expect to leave unpaid debts when you die, how should your executor tie up your financial affairs?

American Bar Association explains how executors navigate debt and expenses. Set your estate administrator up for success and peace of mind.

Executor responsibilities

Executors must know when to settle outstanding debts when a person dies, and the same applies to estate administration expenses. After determining debt due dates, estate administrators should either let creditors know whether to expect a payment delay or clear the debt. To avoid unnecessary issues, executors must pay real estate taxes, property bills and casualty insurance bills sooner rather than later.

Estate administrators may want to consult with experienced professionals to understand how to spend trust and estate assets the right way. Improper spending and neglecting to protect estate assets could cause legal liability.

Filing tax returns

Executors may need to file tax returns while settling an estate. Examples of such tax returns include generation-skipping tax and final income tax. Sometimes, decedents cannot file tax returns during the last year or final years of life because of health issues. Estate administrators should do a bit of digging to learn whether the deceased filed all necessary returns. Executors may need to file a federal estate tax return if the decedent’s estate value does not fall outside California’s current estate tax exemption amount.

Well-informed executors often have all the information they need to perform their responsibilities. Do your part to help them help you and your loved ones.

There are many approaches that you can take to ending your marriage. While you will need to get a divorce through the court to finalize the legal side of things, the way you go about severing your ties with your spouse is up to you.

One option that gained popularity with celebrities is conscious uncoupling. The Guardian explains Katherine Woodward Thomas created the concept is a five-step process to ending your marriage. Do note this is only about how you and your spouse interact and not how you handle the legal aspects of the process.

Steps one through three

The first three steps in the process are about approaching your emotions. During these steps, you will identify your emotions and define them before finally accepting them for what they are. Recognizing your emotions will allow you to better handle them and move past them. It is about identifying your responses and your fault in why the marriage did not work.

Steps four and five

Steps four and five are where you work with the other person. These steps focus on forgiveness and moving past disagreements to work together and create a new identity for your relationship.

Woodward Thomas explains that through conscious uncoupling you are able to be honest and open about your feelings so they do not get in the way or harm others around you during the divorce. The process also allows you to form a new relationship that makes it easier to move forward, especially if you will have to co-parent children after the split.

In short, the process is about getting into the right mindset to have a smooth divorce without letting emotions get out of control.

Recently, your parents shared their dreams and goals for retirement. You want your loved ones to enjoy their golden years, but you also want to ensure they plan their estate with the same care they used to plan their retirement.

Business Insider shares tips for talking to your parents about their end-of-life desires. You may not want to think about your parents’ deaths, but facing the inevitable often makes things easier for everyone.

Have the conversation soon

It makes sense to bite the bullet and ask your parents about their estate sooner rather than later. You do not know what awaits your mother and father in the months and years ahead, so helping them make their end-of-life desires legal could save you all a lot of trouble and heartache.

Ask about estate planning professionals

Are your parents talking with legal representatives, accountants, financial advisors and other professionals to help them get their estate in order? Whomever they get to help, that person should have several years of experience with helping older adults get their affairs in order.

Have a plan to talk about the plan

Do not hesitate to write what you want to say to your parents about their estate plan. With a script, you better ensure you cover all your desired bases and forget nothing. Think about a good time to have the conversation, such as during a family dinner with your parents and siblings. Also, it may help to bring estate planning documents to the conversation, to give your parents an idea of what they need to fill out and the information they need.

A single conversation may have a profound effect on your family. Understand how to help your parents help themselves.