Estate Resolution – Distribution, Organization, Management

It’s not surprising that many people die leaving estates that take a tremendous amount of time and energy to resolve.

No matter how much work is done in advance to make an estate as organized and transparent as possible, the resolution of an estate is no small task.  Usually it falls to someone who has graciously accepted a relative or close friend’s request to be named the executor and/or successor trustee without realizing or fully understanding what’s involved.  This person quickly finds she (he) has no idea where to begin and how to proceed and he hasn’t anticipated how detailed and time-consuming it will be.

Hopefully, the deceased has executed a will, established a living trust and left behind detailed information on what he had, who to call, who gets what, etc.  On the other hand, there may only be a desk piled with papers, an office with file cabinets or a home with rooms full of anything and everything one could imagine.  Or it might be somewhere in-between.  I resolve and distribute estates.


And it’s not surprising that most people don't (won't, can't) prepare for death.

They know death is inevitable, but they continually postpone documenting what they have, figuring out how to safeguard it, and specifying what they want done with it when they’re gone.  Why?  Two main reasons: First, they’ve focused on accumulation and haven’t had the time, energy or tools to organize and document their successes.  Second, planning for when you die means consciously acknowledging that it’s going to happen, and in our culture thinking about or taking action related to death is very difficult to do, especially by yourself.

Without doubt, it’s best to organize and prepare now, with a plan to update at pre-set intervals.  This helps you see what you have, determine how long it might last, decide what you need to change to achieve your goals, plan how to disburse your possessions, etc.  You want your executor and/or successor trustee to step in and carry forward with a clear understanding of the estate you’ve been able to create and what you would like to have happen with it.  Working with my clients and calling upon others that they designate or I suggest (e.g. family members, attorneys, CPAs, financial advisors), I document the estate, assuring complete confidentiality and discretion.  I organize and manage estates.


Estate  –  a person's property, entitlements and obligations
Resolution  –  dealt with successfully; cleared up