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Monday, February 24, 2014
Most people realize that a will is necessary, but just a few understand how critical it is to choose the best executor to enable them take care of their affairs and distribute their assets to the rightful beneficiaries upon their death. Picking the most capable executor will help guarantee their loved ones will have their parts of the estate promptly. Getting the inappropriate executor however, could result to tax issues, long delays, and even the will being contested.
Continue reading to learn the fundamentals of estate planning and know what happens to your estate and what is expected of your will executor upon your death.
The Estate is Opened
To officially open the estate and initiate the process of determining if the will is real and valid, the selected executor will file the essential papers to the probate court. The documents should also indicate the State where he is assigned as executor and will be working on behalf of the estate. The executor will be the person to notify creditors including concerned government and private institutions of your death.
Several probate courts would instruct certified letters to be given to possible creditors. Others demand a notice to be published in the local papers. However the case may be, it's the executor's function (with some assistance from the court) to name these creditors and inform them accordingly. It's quite typical for mistakes in notification to lead to lawsuits from heirs, creditors, and beneficiaries. Therefore, it is only reasonable to get a responsible person for the job.
The executor is required by law to take an actual assets inventory of the decedent. This will include generating a record of brokerage, retirement, bank accounts, and any property owned by the deceased. Moreover, an exact inventory of the deceased's belongings such as valuable collections, antique, jewelry, and other assets must be created and filed to the court for assessment.
This is surely a remarkably difficult and time consuming job. This also involves would checking the deceased's records for relevant information, interviewing heirs, going through ownership documents from the town hall. As mentioned earlier, the information has to be thorough and precise to make certain that heirs get what is due them in a timely manner.
Managing the Estate
It's the executor's function to manage the deceased's payable at the time his/her of death. It is also the executor's task to round up any amount of money that is meant for the deceased. This is crucial as the money acquired will then be apportioned to the heirs as directed by the will. This just implies that having an expert, business-savvy executor is essential.
Dealing with Taxes
The executor is also expected to get an attorney or accountant who will calculate any due standing estate taxes, and consequently file the appropriate tax return for payment. This is to assure that taxes on income earned on the deceased's last year is paid, and/or get any due refunds that will be passed on to the beneficiaries. It can't be stressed enough that a disciplined, organized, and intelligent person is instrumental in implementing these important estate administration duties.
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