11 Important Things To Do After Probate

11 Important Things To Do After Probate

If you find yourself as the executor of a Will, holding a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court, or if Letters of Administration have been issued due to the absence of a Will, you're likely wondering about the next steps.
1. Assess the Need for a Testamentary Trust Account

For substantial estates, opening a testamentary trust might be necessary. Some Wills may even stipulate the need for a trust account. However, considering additional costs, this is only viable if the estate's value justifies it. With the granted Probate, you can initiate this account if required.
2. Obtain a Tax File Number (TFN)

Before gathering the deceased estate's assets for distribution, set up the estate for potential transfers by registering for a Tax File Number (TFN). This ensures avoiding tax at the highest income rate. Register online through the Australian Tax Office’s application for a deceased estate form and discuss further steps with a tax agent.
3. Secure Certified Copies

Certified copies of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration are crucial before transferring larger value assets. These copies are required for accessing the deceased person’s accounts. Learn who can certify these documents here.
Additionally, certified copies of the death certificate may be necessary. Funera Sydney provides these copies if you are a client.
4. Facilitate Transfer of Assets

Request the release and transfer of assets to the deceased's existing bank account or an account in the estate's name. Ensure the notice period requirements are met for any real estate asset transfers.
5. Consider Selling Assets

If needed, sell assets to facilitate fund distribution. Keep evidence of valuations, advertisements, and sales contracts for transparency.
6. Verify Asset Settlement

After transfer or release requests, confirm that the transfers have been processed. Check the estate’s bank account for cash transfers and conduct a title search for real estate transfers.
7. Settle All Debts and Bills

Pay all outstanding debts, including legal or accounting services if no further assistance is required. Settle these before closing the deceased estate’s bank account.
8. Lodge Tax Returns

As the Executor, Administrator, or Next of Kin, manage the deceased estate's taxes, including individual tax returns, a date of death tax return, deceased estate tax return, and a trust tax return if applicable. Ensure compliance with ATO guidelines.
9. Evaluate the Estate’s Full Value

After settling debts and taxes, determine the estate’s full value by valuing property and finalizing an asset inventory. Comply with any state or territory requirements for publishing a notice of intent to distribute.
10. Distribute the Estate

Follow the Will or rules of intestacy to determine beneficiaries’ entitlements. Inform beneficiaries of their inheritance and finalize the distribution of the deceased estate.
11. Close Final Accounts

You’ve completed the estate administration journey! Now it’s time to settle all outstanding debts, close bank accounts, and cancel relevant insurances. File all documents safely for a minimum of seven years for potential inquiries or audits.
Feel free to contact Funera Sydney at www.funera.sydney/contact-us or on the following numbers: Sydney (02) 9954 6655 (Main) Sydney (02) 9954 6655 Newcastle (02) 4955 1110 Wollongong (02) 4243 8755 for assistance or queries.
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