Determine the shares of each beneficiary

Follow the language in the will to determine what each beneficiary will receive. This might include a percentage of the estate or specific bequests (or both). The estate’s attorney can help if there are questions regarding specific bequests. You also should consult the estate’s attorney if a specific bequest is made but the item is no longer part of the estate.

It is possible that some named as beneficiaries in the will might have died before the will-writer. Each state can vary in how they treat such an occurrence. Further, language in the will might dictate how to proceed. You should work with the estate’s attorney to determine how the assets should be divided among those still living.

Resolving Conflicts

If you are struggling to maintain positive relationships among beneficiaries or are being accused of acting inappropriately in the executor role, getting an estate attorney involved can be wise even at this late stage, if you have not done so already.