If you are named as the executor of the estate, you will need to be prepared to handle all of the probate’s legal requirements. This article aims to explain the steps you can expect to go through.
Who is an executor?
When someone dies, an estate must be opened to legally transfer their assets. The executor is responsible for overseeing the will, handling the probate process that means taking care of the estate and its rightful beneficiaries. The executor ensures that the hat person’s bills, donations, and taxes are paid. And the inheritance is rightfully distributed among legal heirs.
Probate process or Executor duties:
The executor has some duties laid out by law, as well as others that are laid out in the will. In general, you’ll have to:
1. Appoint an estate representative:
This is a legal document that gives the executor authority to act on behalf of the estate. If there is no will, the person’s heirs might petition to be appointed as an administrator at the county commissioner’s office. In this procedure, the law gives the surviving spouse priority, but any heir can apply. Before the county clerk, whomever is appointed is sworn in. A form is submitted that lists all of the person’s heirs and everyone who will receive a gift under the will.
2. Contact the County Clerk’s Office to Start Probate Process:
Take the will (if there is one) to the county commissioner’s office and present it to the county clerk. If there is not a will, you should take the death certificate.
3. Post a Bond:
The probate court may ask you to deposit a bond, which is a type of insurance policy that protects the estate against damages you cause up to a specified sum.
4. Scrutinize the Person’s Estate:
The executor or administrator files an Appraisal of the Estate, which lists all of the person’s probate property and its worth. A Non-probate Inventory is also filed by the administrator/executor, which details all non-probate property and its value.
5. File for probate court:
This gives jurisdiction to probate court over the deceased’s property and financial affairs so that a judge can oversee them and make sure any debts are paid properly.
6. Notify creditors of the terms of the will:
When a person passes away, his or her creditors may come after you for payment. You must inform them of any provisions in the will that relate to them, as well as whether they are being paid before or after taxes are deducted from their estate payments. If there is no will, creditors must be notified by posting a notice in a local newspaper.
7. Settle any debts:
Creditors of the deceased have two months to bring a claim against the estate, arguing that the deceased owes them money. Any claims can be challenged by the administrator or executor. The administrator/executor settles all debt claims against the person’s estate, as well as any taxes payable. This covers any funeral costs, credit card payments, and utility bills. If the administrator/executor does not have enough money on hand to satisfy all of the bills, the administrator/executor must sell the person’s possessions.
8. Pay all the Taxes:
As executor, you will also be responsible for filing tax returns of state and fedearl and paying tax bills on time.
9. Close the Estate:
The administrator/executor can complete the probate procedure if all of the person’s obligations and taxes have been paid. There are two ways to accomplish this. The first option is to file a Final Settlement Agreement. This document contains all of the person’s assets, as well as any payments made for debts and taxes, any contributions made from the person’s assets under a will, and any presents given to the person’s heirs. It also contains invoices for any fees made throughout the probate process. No one may challenge the will or the probate procedure beyond this stage.
10. Transfer the Remaining Property:
When the probate is closed, the administrator/executor transfers the remaining property to the named beneficiaries in the will or the heirs if the person did not leave a will.
Keep in mind:
As you can see, the probate procedure is daunting and long and may take a year to come to conclusion. So, if you’re expecting an inheritance, fortunately, there is a simpler way to receive your inheritance sooner. If your money is stalled in probate, probate loans might help you access cash quickly. A probate loan is a sum of money that you can borrow from a lender while your estate is being probated. This loan requires you to pay interest and make monthly payments until the final probate settlement.