There are some jobs in life that have to be done, no matter how we are feeling or what emotions we are going through. One task in particular which nobody enjoys is the finalising of a deceased estate. Anyone who loses a loved one or family member will no doubt be going through a tough time, but this is a job which must be completed and which requires time and effort. If you have been named as the executor on the estate, here are the steps which you will need to go through.
Finding Good Quality Help
The easiest way for you to finalise an estate is to seek out deceased estate lawyers to petition on your behalf. These are the professionals when it comes to this kind of thing, and they can help you to navigate all of the legal and tax implications during this tough time.
When it comes to specialized family lawyers Melbourne has a wide range of expert lawyers who will be able to support and advise you as you look to execute the wishes of the deceased.
Filing a Petition
The first step here is to file a petition. This is basically paperwork which asks you to be officially acknowledged as the executor. If a will exists then you need to ensure that you also file this, accompanied by the death certificate once it is released. Once confirmed as the executor, the court will open the probate case.
Next up you need to give notice that the estate is in probate, and this is for all creditors, beneficiaries and heirs to the estate. In some states you may also need to publish a notice in a newspaper, so be sure to check what your state’s requirements are.
The biggest job is to take an inventory of all assets which the deceased had. This will include bank accounts, funds, stocks and bonds, any real estate interests, retirement accounts, and finally all personal effects of the deceased.
Taking Care of Debts
This may be a tough job but you will also have to list any debts which the deceased may have had, this will include any unpaid bills as well as organized debt which they had taken out. A separate tax return will also have to be taken, and all applicable taxes will have to be paid off before you can close the estate.
Distributing the Assets
Once all bills are paid, any remaining assets will need to be given in accordance with what is stated in the will. Once this has been completed, anything remaining will need to be given away, kept or sold, in accordance with what is directed in the will.
Closing the Estate
Once you have finally finished these steps, you should make sure that all receipts and the records of debt payments and distribution are submitted to the courts. Following this, and assuming that everything is in order, you will be able to ask the court to close the estate, which in turn will release you from the role of executor.
Using deceased estate lawyers is the easiest option here, but if you do go it alone, these are the steps you should follow.