You’ve been named in a Last Will and Testament as an Executor of a Kansas Estate, so now what do you do? Before you begin your role as Executor, here are a few things you might want to know.
As Executor, you have the responsibility of distributing the assets of the Estate to the intended beneficiaries, pursuant to the decedent’s Last Will and Testament. You must understand complex legal and/or financial concepts during the course of your job. As a result, Executors should hire an experienced probate attorney to assist them with the probate process and help them avoid costly mistakes. Here is a basic summary of what you can expect the probate process to include:
1. Petition the Court to initiate the probate action and appoint you as Executor of the Estate, as well as file the original Last Will and Testament.
2. Identify and locate all the Estate heirs and beneficiaries, as it will be necessary to inform them of the probate proceedings.
3. Secure the Estate assets.
4. Obtain a date of death value for all the Estate assets and arrange for appraisals.
5. Notify all potential Estate creditors that a probate has been initiated.
6. Review all Estate creditor claims and pay all approved claims from the Estate assets.
7. Prepare and file federal and/or state gift and Estate tax returns (or hire a professional).
8. Prepare a final accounting to present to the probate court.
9. Work with a realtor to sell Estate real property, if necessary.
10. Arrange for the removal of personal items and cleaning of the Estate property prior to the sale.
11. Make final payments of Estate bills, obtain court approval to distribute assets to beneficiaries and distribute assets.
12. Petition the Court for approval of your actions and dismissal as Executor.
Each probate is unique and your role may vary somewhat from the aforementioned list. A good probate attorney will help you prepare the necessary documents required by the Court and will provide you with advice to save you time and money during your duration as Executor. If you’d like more information on how the probate process works, contact Davis & McCann, P. A., Dodge City, KS. We are members of Wealth Counsel, a national consortium of Estate Planning Attorneys and focus our practice on providing clients with the best legal advice on estate planning, Probate, Trust Administration, Medicaid and Long-term Care Planning, Family Business/Small Business Succession Planning, Real Estate Transactions, and related matters.
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