The Ancient Egyptians believed that it was crucial that their deceased be buried with sufficient material items, so they could live in luxury in the afterlife. Therefore, the belief here was that worldly possessions could be used and taken beyond the grave.
In our enlightened society however, there is no place for such outlandish superstitions and thus more and more people are turning to "Estate Settlements" to properly distribute and dispose off their estate after they die. But this is not a very direct or simple process.
Given that the law of succession already exists with a series of carefully defined rules and requirements, as well as coherent and accessible procedures, why are Estate Settlements such a big concern today?
Estate Settlements are primarily concerned with the effective distribution of as much of the estate as possible, with the emphasis on ensuring that the ultimate tax liability remains as low as possible. A person known as the "executor" or "executor of the estate" will be responsible for the distribution of the estate/property to all of the different beneficiaries.
Procedure of Estate Settlement
The following is a quick overview of the process which is required for Estate Settlements:
- Once the executor has been appointed, they will be required to have a meeting with a relevant attorney in order to begin the formal procedure which will involve the probate court.
- Next, the value of every asset of the estate of the deceased person must be individually valued and appraised by a professional appraisal company. The law specifically requires that the valuation process is conducted by an appraisal company in order to ensure that the valuation figures are fair, accurate and genuine. This is because the estate will be taxed, and the tax burden is dependent upon the value of the estate.
- All outstanding debts owed by the deceased person must be settled in full on a pro-rata basis. In order to ensure that all relevant creditors who have an interest in the estate are able to claw back what is owed to them, the executor is under a legal obligation to ensure that they advertise the fact that the estate owner has passed away.
- All tax liabilities must be settled, before anything can and will pass to the beneficiaries specified within the testamentary document of the deceased person. There are several potential layers of tax liability that can arise, and the relevant ones will depend on the value of the estate.
- Once all relevant expenses have been settled and paid for in full, the executor will then be required to distribute the remainder of the estate (if there is indeed any residue remaining) between the surviving beneficiaries. This must be done in accordance with the precise specifications outlined and contained within the testamentary document of the deceased person.
Settling estate claims and distribution of property can be a tedious and complex task especially when you are not legally qualified. At Appraisal California we have experienced executors and attorneys, who can help you in the estate settlement process. When it comes to Estate Settlements and property evaluations, "Appraisal California" should undoubtedly be your one-stop solution.