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Estate administration is an important undertaking

When an estate plan is mapped out and put into motion, the duties of those involved should be clearly outlined and defined, preferably before attending to those duties is necessary. Knowing what role a person is accepting is as important as acting as an estate administrator, and it should not to be taken lightly. Michigan families may want to explore any potential issues or problems to ensure the estate administration process goes smoothly when the time comes to implement the plans.

Having someone in mind for certain duties, such as administrator or guardian, is helpful, but it doesn't guarantee the person is up for the job. A conflict of interest may lead other family members to resent or dispute the role of an estate administrator. This can lead to familial strife after the death of a loved one. Appointing a person who truly lacks the ambition or motivation to follow through with the duties is an equally regrettable mistake.

If no one is willing or able to live up the duties and responsibilities, the court will have to decide upon an appropriate administrator. An estate may also need to be managed before a loved one passes. Preparing for potential incapacitation and appointing a person to act in the best interest of the incapacitated family member is one area of estate planning that should be handled sooner rather than later.

Being in charge of estate administration is a tremendous undertaking. Having an accurate grasp of the duties involved is for the benefit of all Michigan family members, including those who accept the responsibility. For those having trouble appointing an administrator or those who are uncomfortable with a family member's choice, seeking legal advice early on in the process may be the best option for clear advice and an amicable resolution.

Source:, "Real Life Get comfortable with idea of estate management", Gary Newman, Feb. 7, 2015

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