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Old 09-05-2014, 09:43 PM   #21
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I have acted as executor several times. I am not a lawyer. I live in Canada so some laws may be different but I think the principles of British Common Law are the basis for both of our countries. I'd welcome correction from a US lawyer.

Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
So distributions can happen after the assessment but before probate. In fact distributions are part of the probate process.
I believe the probate process is to have the appropriate body (Surrogate Court or whatever) determine that the will is valid and empower the executor named in it to deal with the estate as directed by the will. There are a few circumstances up here where probate is not required, but 95% of wills do need it. If probate is required, no distributions can take place because without the blessing of the Surrogate Court the will is invalid. Check wikipedia for probate and you will find a similar definition.

Originally Posted by steelyman View Post
I am not an attorney, but my understanding is that part of the probate process is to account for all assets, so it would be safer to leave things in place till after probate is completed, as you say.
Up here, the petition for probate must include an estimate of the value of the estate at time of death. Investment values are expected to be accurate, illiquid assets (ie. real estate) are expected to be reasonable and basic personal items (such as furniture, but not the 1957 Ferrari) are simply noted with a nominal value. Leaving things in place is a legal requirement (well, removing them is illegal) until letters of probate are issued.

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Old 09-06-2014, 12:47 AM   #22
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To the OP, post #5 has good advice about the timeshares--visit Timeshare Users Group (link provided in that post). Here's a more recent thread:

Family does NOT have to accept the timeshares in an estate. The estate should be expected to pay the current year's maintenance fees, that's if no one in the family wants to 'adopt' the timeshares.

Good luck with being the Executor--been there, done that.

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Old 09-06-2014, 08:17 AM   #23
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Thanks all. Great feedback and information for me to follow up on.
I believe I have gathered most of her financial documents. This weekend we will be packing up her things and storing in a unit until probate is finalized. I was able to contact VA and military to notify of her death to stop annuity payments from my fathers military pension. Funeral home will notify SS.
Again, thanks for the feedback and suggestions.

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Old 09-11-2014, 08:05 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Dog View Post
.... Funeral home will notify SS....
Our funeral home also told us that they will notify SS. Unfortunately this did not occur properly. DD received 2 post-mortem SS monthly payments via EFT.

After the 2nd payment I called funeral home. They said that I should contact SS directly to deal with it. SS had no record of the death. I then got into a situation where I wrote a check at the local SS office for the deficiency and near simultaneously SS debited back the bank account via EFT for the deficiency a second time. DD died in April and I am still trying to resolve this mid September.

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Old 09-11-2014, 10:24 AM   #25
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I was a co-executor of my father's estate, which was in the eight figures. He held much of the estate in trusts, which expedited the transfer of those assets, but he did have a six figure amount that was held up in probate - bank accounts primarily. That took two years to close. The entire process was helped by our family's estate attorney, but I should have had my own attorney to be looking out for MY interests, since there was some conflict between myself and my brother. I didn't do that, and ended up wishing I had since I was out of state, and much of what was happening was in the state of his residence. I found out that the estate atttorney was not MY attorney, and I would have had much more peace of mind had I hired my own attorney to review all documents. This help would have been invaluable for court hearings and various legal filings.
I feel it is always a good idea to be represented by an attorney who is looking out for YOUR interests in these cases.
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:30 PM   #26
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I am the executor of my moms and my dads estate. There really is no estate as they have no assets except a house they are up side down on. Hopefully there will be no need to probate anything.

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