The final accounting of the estate is an arduous process that will eventually lead you to showing a probate judge just how an estate has been handled and what will happen with the assets left behind. This is a multiple-part process that is best guided by a probate lawyer. Take a look at the four primary aspects that will be involved in the final accounting for the estate.
1. Taking inventory of the assets.
This will be an all-inclusive list of everything that belongs to the estate. A lot of stuff will be actual tangible items, such as real estate property, cars, or jewelry. However, there can be just as much non-tangible property, such as monies held in accounts, stocks and bonds, or digital assets. The inventory process will include determining a value for each asset and listing it along with that asset, which can take a fair amount of research.
2. Income for the estate.
Income for the estate is not always something that is involved during the final accounting of the estate, but it definitely can be. Income for the estate will be things like money and rents owed to the deceased before they passed away or any business earnings that have accumulated since the time of death. The sell of property can also be included in income for the estate. For instance, if the executor chose to immediately sell the house, the money garnered from the sale will count as money that went to the estate.
3. Disbursements and payments from the estate.
When someone passes away, it is rare for them to not leave monies owed on some level. There may be outstanding bills for property taxes, utility bills, home maintenance performed, and even medical bills. One thing that is a must during the final accounting of the estate is a full list of disbursements and payments that have already been made on behalf of the estate.
4. Planned distributions from the estate.
Once everything else has been lined up as far as estate value and expenses are concerned, it will be time to show how the planned distributions will be made. This can be the most challenging part and it must be completely accurate according to the will of the deceased. For example, you may have to create a detailed plan of how all monies are planned to be divided, show who will get which tangible property, and show which property will be sold and how those funds will be distributed.
For more information, reach out to a local probate lawyer.
If you've decided that you want to adopt a child, the first thing you should do is reach out to a family law attorney. While it may not seem logical to get an attorney involved from the start, it's important that you protect yourself legally from the beginning. After making the decision to adopt, I have been through the process several times. I created this site to help other adoptive parents understand what they can expect from the entire process, including the legal support you're likely to need. I hope this information helps you feel more confident in this major life decision.