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Simple steps can ease estate administration for Kent families

As many Kent residents know, the loss of a loved one brings not only grief but also a host of challenging responsibilities. People who are charged with the duties of wrapping up a loved one's worldly affairs may benefit from the assistance of compassionate legal counsel during a difficult time, but there are always tasks that heirs need to perform independently. Kent residents may want to consider taking some simple steps during life to help expedite the process of estate administration and reduce the complexity of probate proceedings.

One of the most important steps toward facilitating estate administration is simply to collect and store all important documents and information in one location. Naturally, it makes sense to keep financial and estate planning documents in a single safe place. These documents might include wills, life insurance policies and information about retirement benefits. However, there is often a need for a variety of additional information in order to effectively manage estate administration.

That information may include items pertaining to bank accounts, investment accounts and stock or bond holdings.

It is also important to handle the details related to subscription services such as magazines or online accounts. Hidden valuables and details of rewards programs such as frequent flier miles or cooperative memberships are also concerns for many Washington residents charged with getting an estate in order.

In addition, certain specifics about personal preferences such as funeral instructions, plans for pets and directions for epitaphs and obituaries are all important matters after a loved one's death.

The loss of a family member presents one of life's most stressful experiences. Washington residents can help ease the burden upon loved ones by taking just a little bit of time to organize and safely store all the information their heirs will need in order to efficiently manage estate administration.

Source: The Republic, "Will you inherit cash, or chaos?" Claudia Buck, May 25, 2012

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