Helpful Tips for Executors Undergoing Probate Process

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Probate is a process, where you handle the estate of a deceased person. It is an intimidating and challenging task. In complex probate cases, the resolution takes more than a year, but generally, it is complete within 4 months.

Understand the probate process

It is a process, where a deceased person’s property, possessions, and money are sorted. If there is a Will then it will have an executor named, who will be responsible for handing out the estate as stated in the Will. If you are a resident of Scotland the process of probate is called ‘Confirmation’.

The probate process covers estate administration, which includes –

  • Deceased person’s Will validation.
  • Appointing estate representative or administrator.
  • Calculating assets worth.
  • Paying applicable debts and estate taxes.
  • Identifying heirs or beneficiaries and distribution of the assets.

Generally, the process starts after the deceased person’s representative files a petition in probate court.

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Dealing death of dear ones can make it impossible to handle the probate process, especially when there is a large estate involved. PMW in Sussex offers private services for those seeking financial advice in protecting wealth, you, and your family. They offer unbiased consistent professional advice. Their sister company PMW Trust is committed to probate administration, estate planning, and writing Wills.

Helpful tips for executors undergoing the probate process

  • Create a list, which helps in managing the estate. Every asset value needs confirmation on the date of death including the inheritance tax return. Only, after this confirmation, the assets can be sold or transferred to their heirs or beneficiaries.

Every liability needs to be uncovered and paid for. Preparing a good list helps to ensure that each aspect is handled.

  • A probate lawyer can help you in estate administration, identify & secure probate assets, as well as help in obtaining property appraisals. They make sure that every document needed in probate court is filed on time. They will even advise on paying off the deceased party’s outstanding debts and bills, ensure income tax issue is addressed, and handle inheritance and relevant estate taxes.

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  • An executor is liable for every physical asset. Identify and keep them insured. Jewelry or cars can be delivered to relevant beneficiaries, but ensure there are sufficient assets to fulfill its debts or outstanding bills or delayed taxes. You can even sell cars and jewelry before a probate grant.
  • The executor will arrange for the deceased person’s funeral but will need approval from family members. Determining who will have assets associated with sentimental value is a big challenge.
  • The executor has to handle the estate as per the law – follow the Will and if there is no Will adhere to the intestacy rules. If beneficiaries are of age then they can agree to handle the estate differently, which is done under a deed of variation.
  • Executors will need to act unanimously because by default individual asset need to be sold but there has to be approval from both the executor and beneficiary.
  • Assets cannot be sold without a probate grant. Inheritance tax can be paid in 10 installments, but the first one has to be paid before probate. Usually, cash deposits from a bank can be used to pay Inheritance tax.
  • If there is a dispute or claim against the estate between beneficiaries then the executor or the professional probate lawyer helps to negotiate and draw an agreement.

The executor’s role is not to preserve the estate but to ensure that all the aspects are handled according to the Will or laws. Keep records of the estate because you may need them.

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