How do i find the value of a deceased person estate

Dealing with the deceaseds property: Wills, intestacy, and small estatesIntroductionWhose job is it to deal with the deceaseds property?This is done either:by the executor appointe

How do i find the value of a deceased person estate

Dealing with the deceaseds property: Wills, intestacy, and small estates

Introduction

Whose job is it to deal with the deceaseds property?

This is done either:

  • by the executor appointed under the deceaseds will, or
  • if theres no will, then normally by a close relative whos entitled to benefit from the deceaseds estate under the laws of intestacy (the laws that say who a persons property goes to if they didnt leave a will). The close relative gets formally appointed by the courts to manage the estate, and is then called the administrator.

Personal representative is a general term that covers both executors and administrators  in other words, it refers to whoever is doing the job of managing the estate, under a will or not. But in this chapter well use the combined term executor/administrator, rather than personal representative.

This part of the chapter includes information about dealing with the deceaseds will (as well as what happens when there isnt a will). To find out about making your own will, and how the directions in your will might be overridden in some cases, see the Wills chapter.

What property does the deceaseds estate include?

The deceased persons estate is all their property, including their personal possessions (like clothes and jewellery), money in bank accounts, any house or other land they own (called real property), proceeds from insurance policies, and shares in companies.

The deceaseds estate wont include any property that he or she owned jointly with a partner, like a house. Because they owned the property jointly (legally, this is called owning as joint tenants), this means that when one of them dies the other becomes the sole owner. (This is different from owning property together as tenants in common, which is where you each have a separate ownership share that you can pass on under your will to whoever you choose. And note that although these technical legal terms refer to tenants, in fact theyre about ownership, not about renting or leasing property.)

What tasks will need to be done?

The executor or other person dealing with the deceaseds estate will need to:

  • apply to the courts to get approval to deal with the property, either by getting approval for the will (called probate) or, if theres no will, by getting appointed as the administrator for the estate (but court approval isnt needed if its only a small estate)
  • get the deceaseds estate ready to distribute to the people entitled to it, by identifying all of the deceaseds property, dealing with any claims that someone might have against the estate (for example, a relative left out of the will), and paying any taxes and debts that might be due out of the estate
  • then distribute all the remaining property to the people entitled to it under the will or under the rules of intestacy.

Those tasks are all explained in the sections below.

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