Settling an estate...overwhelmed
I posted part of this on the home finances forum, but decide to cross-post here also. We are seriously overwhelmed.. there is so much to do and feel completely drained. My father in law passed away after after suffering with terminal cancer for several monthes. A portion of the post from the other forum in repeated below:
"My very dear father in law passed away this weekend and left a small estate. My husband is executor of the will (although I'll be doing most of the needed paperwork, mailing, phone calling, etc.)He and his only sibling are to split whatever is left after paying bills, etc. Unfortunately, we have several obstacles to overcome and I was hoping to find advice here before going to a lawyer or other professional... that way I'd at least know what type of questions to ask :-)
First... where on earth do you start? We are seriously grieving and just going over to his small apartment sends my dh into a crying jag. So many things need to be done-- clearing out his apartment of furniture and personal belongings before rent is due Feb. 1st, selling his car, filing for insurance, paying final bills (especially medical bills.)
Second... the sibling is a raging alcoholic with all that implies. My FIL made dh executor of the will at the last minute (they were co-executors) because of the lying, stealing and manipulation of this individual. We're fairly sure that they cannot drain the accounts before we get the bills paid, but if it *is* possible, this individual will do that very thing. Is there anything we should be doing to keep this from happening?
Third... is there a list somewhere that tells step by step what's involved in this process? Something along the lines of:
1.) Have mail forwarded to new address
2) Wait for all Medicare bills to arrive
3) Write check to alcoholic sibling,
4) etc? "
I realize that this isn't a forum on finances, but any advice on how to deal with all these practical aspects of a loved one's passing while dealing with fresh grief would be greatly appreciated.