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Take care of yourself while you take care of estate business

When you agree to become an administrator for someone's estate, you take on a fairly large responsibility. Regardless of the size of the person's estate, being the administrator means stepping into a role of serious trust and taking action at a time when you might be dealing with grief or support loved ones who are dealing with loss. It's important to remember to take care of yourself while you take care of paperwork and other matters. Here are some self-care tips for handling stress during estate administration.

Make sure you pay attention to the needs of your body. That means getting enough sleep, getting some exercise, stepping outdoors for fresh air on occasion and eating well balanced meals. You might not feel like doing any of these things, but taking small steps in healthy directions can make a big difference in your energy level and your ability to meet estate needs. You might think it's better to burn the midnight oil and get things done for your loved ones, but no one benefits if you burn out.

Stop and step away from tasks when they become overwhelming. Yes, timing is important with some estate administration tasks, but rarely is anything an immediate emergency. You have time for a walk around the block, a nap, a hot shower or anything else that might clear your head so you can face the next task.

Finally, don't think that you have to face everything on your own. Don't be afraid to enlist help from others -- though be careful about sewing discord or relying too heavily on people who might be buckling under shock or grief already. Reaching out to an estate law professional for help lets you share the burden with someone who isn't dealing with emotional turmoil too.

Source: Anxiety and Depression Association of America, "Tips to Manage Anxiety and Stress," accessed Jan. 13, 2017

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