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executive trustee in will and revocable trust

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greg p. chapman

mother deceased april 2001
named executive trustee in both the will and revocable trust.
how do I notify, find any/all accounts (insurance, bank accounts, etc.) in order to process my mothers affairs (funeral costs, unpaid bills, mail forwarding)?



MAY 17, 2001


Congratulations on being named trustee--your mother must have very high confidence in your judgment and business sense.

The main question to be answered is: Were you named as EXECUTOR of her estate or does someone else have that responsibility? It is the executor who will be responsible for handling your mother's financial affairs. If you are the executor, then you need to first file the will at the county courthouse at which time you should soon also be receiving legal papers from the court that authorize you to act as executor.

Didn't your mother ever discuss with you her important matters--where the will was located, the names of any companies who had her insurance policies, where her bank accounts were located, etc. or was this something that she never made time to discuss with you? If you have access to her home, then you should go through her personal effects and you are most likely to at least find bank statements/cancelled checks there and possibly some other important estate papers there, too (insurance policies, etc.). If you need more information about companies that do searches for insurance policies, send me an e-mail and I can send you some information about this. It might also be possible for you or a private investigator to obtain her credit report which might also provide some information about her debts or what bank she used.

You should also consider retaining the services of a probate attorney whom you could consult with about various estate matters as they come up. He/she will have been through this process before and can tell you what procedural steps to take.

Regarding the mail forwarding, you can submit the change of address card for your mother's address yourself. Creditors are notified by your placing an ad in the local daily newspaper or legal newspaper that announces the first scheduled hearing for your mother's probate affairs (ad will also show your name and address), where local creditors who see the ad will mail the bills to that address, but of course you can also retrieve your mother's other bills (from creditors in other cities or states) from her home or as they come through the mail (the attorney or courthouse can advise you on where to get the form to submit the newspaper ad).

You should also consider visiting your local library to check out a few books on how to be an executor (located in the 346 call number section) or how to do probate, and trusts. The advice found there will be invaluably helpful.


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