Although you are not legally required to retain an attorney, doing so will help you avoid costly mistakes. Moreover, the estate will cover the cost of legal counsel. … [Read more...] about Do I need an attorney if I am the Executor?
Serving as Executor
The Executor must request several certified copies of the decedent’s death certificate. A copy will likely need to be submitted to the court to open probate. One will also be needed for the funeral home, and copies will likely be needed for third parties when acting as Executor. … [Read more...] about Does an Executor need any additional official documents to open probate?
No which is why the Executor must categorize estate assets. Some assets are classified as “non-probate” assets because they bypass probate altogether. Determining which assets are probate assets and which are non-probate assets is necessary to determine if the estate may qualify for a small estate alternative to formal probate. Common examples of non-probate assets include: Assets held in a trust Proceeds of a life insurance policy Accounts designated as POD or TOD Certain types of … [Read more...] about Are all assets subject to probate?
Examples of steps to take include: Take possession of vehicles Close financial accounts Lock up real estate and arrange for upkeep Speak to employees at a business and arrange for continued operations … [Read more...] about What are some steps an Executor should take to secure assets?
The Executor must locate and review all estate planning documents. Because estate planning documents may interact, it is crucial to locate all of them as soon as possible. Documents to look for may include a Will, trust agreement, life insurance policies, and/or Letter of Instruction among others. An original copy of the Will must be located in order to initiate the probate process which will officially grant you the authority you need to act as the Executor of the estate. An Executor must also … [Read more...] about What does an Executor do with the decedent’s assets?
If this is the first time you have been directly involved in the probate of an estate, it helps to get a general idea if what your role is during the process. The overall purpose of probate is to ensure that a decedent’s estate assets are identified, valued, and eventually transferred to the new owners. Before assets can be distributed, however, creditors must be given the opportunity to file claims and any federal and/or state gift and estate taxes must be paid. The Executor of an estate is … [Read more...] about What is the Executor’s role during probate?