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Things to consider regarding estate planning and administration

Many Illinois residents may hesitate to discuss certain topics at family gatherings. Like others throughout the nation, they may determine various issues are better left unsaid. For some, such topics may include political subjects or those having to do with religion. Others are okay with those things but would rather not talk about mortality or anything having to do with their own eventual death or that of a close family member, which could be a problem if loved ones ask them to participate in their estate planning and administration processes.  

Some people feel quite honored to be entrusted with such a solemn duty. Others feel as though they are being handed a recipe for stress. While it is true that estate administration can be complex and challenging at times, it often depends on the type of support one has going in. There are several factors to consider and steps to take if one hopes to keep stress to a minimum regarding administering someone's estate.  

First of all, no one is legally obligated to take on such roles just because another person has requested it. If a person has been designated as a trustee or estate administrator, it's always best to have an in-depth discussion with the estate owner while there's still time in order to be as prepared as possible for dealing with various documents and situations later. Even after one has agreed to serve in this capacity, he or she can always resign at a later point in time if a change of heart has occurred.  

Complications can arise if fiduciary duties are breached; therefore, anyone planning to act as an estate administrator should seek clarification ahead of time as to the exact expectations that are associated with the role. Support is available should someone unfamiliar with estate planning and administration have questions regarding legal terminology in a document or how to handle a particular issue. An estate administrator in Illinois can enlist financial advisers, accountants and experienced attorneys to help them navigate the process.  

Source:, "Administering Your Family's Estate: A Blessing or a Curse?", Cortney Danbrook, Accessed on April 2, 2018

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