During the first few months after someone has passed away, the executor is the person who will identify and protect the assets of the Estate. They will take control of the affairs of the deceased and ensure everything is carried out according to the deceased’s wishes.
Importantly, the executor will commence the process of collecting assets, paying liabilities and winding up the estate. Part of this process may involve selling assets from the estate.
Selling the deceased’s assets is usually done to pay off liabilities and debts. After this, the money or value is usually divided among the beneficiaries.
How it Works
As executor, you have to pay the deceased’s expenses and debts before you can give away any assets or money.
You’ll need to open a bank account in the name of the estate and deposit the money into it – both from bank accounts and the sale of any of their assets.
It is important to consult with the beneficiaries when planning a sale of assets to determine if they should be sold or transferred.
For example, when it comes to property, it will usually be a decision of transferring title to the beneficiaries or selling it. If the property is to be sold, it must be transferred into the name of the executor of the estate and the beneficiaries will receive the proceeds of the sale.
Similarly, assets such as shares may be sold or transferred to beneficiaries in accordance with the will.
Detailed accounts of all sales and the money received from then must be kept. These are called ‘distribution reports’.
The distribution report is prepared by the executor and given to the beneficiaries. Once you’ve sold all of the deceased’s assets and paid all their debts, you’ll need to prepare a report detailing exactly what assets they owned, how much money you received from each asset you sold and also what debts you paid.
Once this process has been completed, you can start giving the deceased’s money and possessions away in line with the will.
At Robert Wood and Associates, we have more than 36 years of experience in family law and with wills and probate. We can assist you in every element of wills and estates, including making decisions about probates or challenging a will.
We can inform you in detail about the rights and responsibilities of an executor and on selling and distributing assets of an estate.
Call us on (03) 9762 3877 to learn more or contact us online.