After Probate: The Estate Administration Guide by Funera.Sydney
After Probate: The Estate Administration Guide by Funera.Sydney
If you find yourself as the executor of a will, holding a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court, or if you've been granted Letters of Administration in the absence of a will, you might be wondering about the next steps in estate administration. Funera.Sydney presents this comprehensive estate administration guide, outlining the 11 steps to follow after Probate has been granted. If you require assistance at any stage, our team will be able to point you in the right direction.
Step 1: Determining the Need for a Testamentary Trust Account
In cases where the deceased's estate is substantial, you may consider establishing a testamentary trust account. Sometimes, the will itself may request such an account. However, it's important to weigh the associated costs against the estate's value. Now that Probate has been granted, you have the option to open this account if necessary. For those seeking affordable burial services and affordable cremation, understanding the value of a testamentary trust is crucial. To learn more about these options, read our article 'What is a testamentary trust' here.
Step 2: Registering for a Tax File Number (TFN)
Before proceeding with the distribution of the deceased estate's assets, it's crucial to set up the estate to facilitate asset transfers efficiently. Registering the deceased estate for a Tax File Number (TFN) is essential to avoid paying tax at the highest income rate. You can complete the registration process online by using the Australian Tax Office's application for a deceased estate form here. Subsequently, you should consult a tax agent for the best guidance tailored to your situation. This step is essential for those seeking affordable funeral arrangements and looking to minimize burial costs.
Step 3: Obtaining Certified Copies
To facilitate the transfer of high-value assets, you'll require certified copies of the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration. These copies are typically necessary to access the deceased person's accounts, including banks, superannuation, and insurance companies. Additionally, you may also need certified copies of the death certificate. Funera.Sydney provides copies of these documents if you are a client and can offer additional copies as needed. This service is essential for those in search of affordable cremations and affordable burial services.
Step 4: Asset Transfers
With Probate granted, you can now request the release and transfer of assets. These transfers can be directed to either the deceased's existing bank account or one established in the name of the deceased's estate. This step ensures that funds are readily available for distribution in accordance with the will or the rules of intestacy. If the deceased person jointly owned real estate with a surviving spouse or another person, the property will often transfer to the surviving owner and does not form part of the deceased estate. However, for properties owned solely or as 'tenants in common' with another owner, they must be transferred into the name of the Executor or Administrator before being sold or transferred to beneficiaries. Please ensure that you adhere to any notice period requirements for real estate asset distribution, particularly when considering economy funerals and budget cremations.
Step 5: Asset Sales (When Required)
In some cases, it may be necessary to sell assets to facilitate distribution, especially for those seeking cheap burials or cheap cremations. When doing so, it's crucial to maintain evidence of valuations, advertisements, and sales contracts as proof that the property was sold at market rates, acting in the best interests of the estate.
Step 6: Confirming Asset Settlements
Following the submission of transfer and release requests, it's essential to verify that the transfers have been processed. For cash transfers, review the deceased estate's bank account or trust bank account to confirm fund deposits. For real estate transfers, you can check for ownership changes by conducting a title search. This step is vital for ensuring the smooth transition of assets, particularly for those interested in cremations in Sydney.
Step 7: Settling Debts and Bills
Check for any outstanding debts and settle them now. If you engaged legal or accounting services to help manage the estate administration process and you no longer require further assistance, request an invoice and pay it before the deceased estate’s bank account is closed. This is important for those looking for cheap funeral homes and budget funerals in Sydney.
Step 8: Lodging Tax Returns
As the Executor, Administrator, or Next of Kin, you are responsible for managing the taxes of the deceased estate while it is in your custody. This may include preparing and lodging any of the deceased person’s individual tax returns outstanding from previous financial years, a date of death tax return, deceased estate tax return, and a trust tax return, if a trust account was in use. You may only need to complete one of these, or a combination of these as one tax return, depending on your circumstances. These tax-related considerations are essential for anyone interested in cheap funeral arrangements and cheap funerals.
Tax returns completed on behalf of a deceased person must be completed using the ATO paper forms, rather than be submitted online. They are due for lodgement by 31 October of that financial year, for the financial year ending on 30 June (as per the usual individual tax return lodgement deadline). The words ‘DECEASED ESTATE’ must be written clearly on the top of the page. The tax assessment will identify how much tax is payable from the estate. You can either pay it immediately or set aside that amount before assets are distributed to beneficiaries. For further information on tax returns and taxation matters for deceased estates, call the ATO on 13 28 61, visit the ATO website here, or contact a tax agent for specialized advice. These steps can help you manage the funeral costs in Sydney.
Step 9: Determining the Estate's Full Value
Once all debts and taxes have been paid, you can determine the estate’s full value by having property valued and finalizing an inventory of assets. In most cases, you should be ready for distribution of the estate to beneficiaries. Depending on your state or territory, you may be required to publish a notice of intent
to distribute. This notice allows the opportunity for any creditors, other family members or previous spouses to make a claim if they believe they may be a beneficiary entitled to an inheritance. It's important to consider these factors when planning beautiful funerals and ensuring affordable funeral arrangements.
Step 10: Distributing the Estate
The Will, if one exists, determines the beneficiaries’ eligibility of any inheritance and how much of the deceased estate they are entitled to. If no Will exists, the rules of intestacy follow a hierarchy, set by law in the relevant state or territory, of who should benefit from the estate and how much inheritance they may be entitled to. Once you have determined the beneficiaries and each of their entitlements in accordance with the Will or intestacy rules, you should inform each beneficiary of the inheritance they will receive. Finalize and distribute the deceased estate to all beneficiaries. Where there was no surviving joint owner of a real estate asset, you’ll generally need to determine if stamp duty is payable through the Stamp Duties Division of the Office of State Revenue. This is particularly important for those interested in funeral services and looking for funeral directors in Sydney.
Step 11: Closing Final Accounts
Congratulations, you have reached the final step of executing or administering the deceased estate. Assuming all debts and liabilities have been settled and the deceased estate has been fully distributed, you can proceed to close any bank accounts solely held in the deceased person's name and any other accounts used during the estate administration process. Additionally, you may cancel any insurance policies held while assets were in trust. If you are confident that email or social media accounts will no longer need to be accessed, you can close them as well. It's advisable to retain all relevant documents in a secure location for at least seven years, in case of potential tax or other inquiries into the estate administration in the future. If such inquiries arise, you will be required to produce the necessary documents.
This concludes Funera.Sydney's guide to estate administration after Probate. For more information and guidance on this topic, please visit our website at www.funera.sydney. We are committed to providing affordable funeral services in Sydney, including Anglican burial service and Catholic funerals Sydney. Our aim is to offer budget funerals and budget cremations without compromising on quality. If you are seeking cheap funeral homes in Sydney, Funera.Sydney is here to assist you.