How Can I Protect My Elderly Parents’ Assets?

A woman leans over with her arms around her elderly parents. Her father in a wheelchair, her mother in an armchair. This image belongs to the article How Can I Protect My Elderly Parents' Assets?

People are living longer and more active lives than any other point in history. This also means that more and more adult children find themselves dealing with new challenges that come with aging parents. And one of the questions we hear most often is, “How can I protect my elderly parents’ assets?”

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What Does a Guardian of the Estate Do?

A woman's hand reaches out to hold an elderly man's hand. He is lying in bed, covered up. This image belongs to the article What Does a Guardian of the Estate Do?

For the purposes of this blog, we are going to focus on one of the three types of guardianship, Guardian of the Estate. Specifically, we are going to answer a question we are asked frequently, “What does a guardian of the estate do?” So, let’s dive right in.

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What is the Difference Between an Executor and an Estate Administrator?

A magnifying glass reveals the words Estate Planning on a document. This image belongs to the article What Are the Difference Between an Executor and an Estate Administrator?

Serving as a personal representative (executor or administrator) for a loved one’s estate is a big responsibility. “You have the power of attorney for the deceased person’s estate. You need to handle their real estate, settle any estate tax, communicate with their loved ones, and hire a law firm for legal advice, among other things,” explains Patrick O’Brien, executor.org. All in all, the entire process typically lasts about a year from start to finish – though the actual time can vary depending on the size and complexity of the estate. But did you know there is actually a difference between an executor and an estate administrator?

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Can Beneficiaries Object to an Estate Administrator?

A gavel sits on top of a document that reads Living Trust & Estate Planning. This image belongs to the article Can Beneficiaries Object to an Estate Administrator.

An executor or personal representative can be nominated to serve in the deceased person’s will, however, if there is no Will, a court-appointed estate administrator or personal representative will be appointed by a probate court. The latter can sometimes lead to tensions amongst heirs who disagree with the court’s decision. So, one of the questions we hear often is, “Can beneficiaries object to an estate administrator?”

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