The process of distributing property to beneficiaries after someone’s death, organizing assets, and making sure that taxes have been paid on everything.
The first step of estate settlement is organizing the assets, bills, taxes, claims, and other belongings of a deceased person. In order to go ahead in the estate settlement process, essential documents of the deceased person must be located. These documents could include a last will and testament, a revocable living trust, burial instructions, life insurance policies, stocks and bonds, or bank statements, among other documents.
Once the will or living trust or found, those document can confirm who the beneficiaries are of the deceased person’s assets. If this document was a will, the family of the deceased person would move on to probate. If it was a living trust, the assets would be transferred without going to probate. After all of the assets have been organized, and it has been determined who is receiving everything, the executor will have to create an inventory of all the assets. The executor must also distribute the assets to whom they belong. Finally, all claims and taxes must be paid on the estate.