Elder Law Minute – Why It’s Unwise to Rush in Settling an Estate

In this Elder Law Minute, Wes Coulson discusses potential downfalls that you may not think of when you rush into settling your loved one’s estate.


Hi! I’m Wes Coulson from Coulson Elder Law, proudly serving clients throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area and beyond. I’d like to welcome you to our Elder Law and Estate Planning Minute. We do these to help educate people, give them some little tips, and especially to let them know the questions they need to ask, things that they’ve maybe not thought of. Our thought on that is that we can help you best if you realize the things that you need help and that we can help you with. So I hope you enjoy. Thanks!

Usually when we get someone in and they are in charge of settling the estate of somebody who dies, their first, main goal, is how quick can we get this done? We just want to get this done. Well, the thing is, is, generally speaking, it’s unwise to rush to get an estate settled. Here’s why.

First, you don’t know, immediately, whether there are any bills or expenses that come in. So, if you are the one in charge of taking care of things and you’ve distributed out the money, and bills come in, if you have either signed in Illinois, a small estate affidavit, or in Missouri, then the one who has initiated a small estate proceeding. If you can’t get the money back from the rest of the family, you, in fact, have personal responsibility and liability for paying those creditors.

You also, in rushing, can overlook assets that might come in later, things like insurance refunds, tax refunds, things of that sort. Accounts that you weren’t quite sure that the person who died had. So, I guess there is a difference between being prompt, and rushing through something to get bad results and the obvious advice here is, don’t rush through it. Thanks!

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Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (877)995-6876 or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.