Looking ahead to when you pass can be an uneasy matter. Estate Settlement mitigates the legal expenses that can otherwise mount during this trying time.
Estate settlement resolves the transfer of assets from the deceased to beneficiaries.
Estates with a valid will are classified and treated differently than those without one. You must file a petition with the probate court to admit the will. An executor must be named to administer the estate.
When a valid will can't be found, a petition must be filed with a probate court to administer the estate. Anyone who feels they're just as qualified to administer the estate may file a petition. If more than one person applies, then the court decides the matter. A will determines whether the wishes of the deceased or state laws direct the assets.
The overall steps in estate settlement are:
- taking an inventory of assets
- placing a value on each
- transferring them to the correct people or institutions
- paying any taxes that are due
An executor is a personal representative you name in your will to act in your interests upon your passing. The probate court has final approval but generally confirms nominations–except in cases where there are compelling reasons not to do so. Your executor will later make the decisions you would have made if you were still alive
- Making temporary arrangements for beneficiaries
- Locating final instructions (will, burial plan, etc.)
- Assisting with funeral plans
- Navigating probate
- Gathering all important papers (certificates, cards, other documents)
- Forwarding mail
- Compiling a list of assets and accounts
- Compiling a list of business relations
- Notifying employers, business relations, debtors, etc.
- Closing, retitling or freezing accounts
- Collecting final checks and other benefits
- Claiming and canceling insurance policies
- Filing and paying tax returns
- Distributing assets
An executor is personally responsible for acting in a fiduciary capacity, meaning he or she must honor ethical practices and take the utmost care at all times. Executors are accountable to both the beneficiaries and the courts.
Without a clear directive, a court must apppoint an individual to manage assets for a legally incapacitated person. A conservator is named. Specifying your wishes for care in an estate plan allows you to bypass a court’s nomination.
Establish comprehensive protection and peace of mind for your family by naming MEMBERS Trust Company as executor or personal representative. .