Reduced to its simplest elements, the administration of an estate is the gathering of a decedent’s assets, the paying of his or her debts, and the distribution of the remaining estate. Perhaps the initial obligation of someone charged with the administration process is the preservation of the assets. It is important that a decedent’s home and possessions are secure. Even before the formal appointment of a personal representative, mail should be collected and held for future handling. Records should be kept so all expenses incurred for the funeral and burial so that the persons who pay these expenses may be reimbursed properly. None of the decedent’s papers should be thrown away, as very uninteresting papers often are quite useful in the administration of the estate. Also, the decedent’s property should be kept intact pending the formal appointment of someone to take charge of the estate.