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By: Scott Grossman on August 5th, 2016

5 Tips for Knowing When to End a Probate Administration Proceeding

Finally: After many months—or even years—of handling the probate administration of your loved one’s estate, you are at long last ready to complete the process. Before petitioning the court to close the estate, it is important to ensure that you are truly ready to do so. If there are still outstanding tasks that need to be handled, you will waste the time and money of the estate filing a petition that ultimately may be denied.

Checklist for When It’s Time to Close a Probate Administration

How do you know when it’s time to close a probate administration? While every estate is unique, the following are five helpful guidelines:

  1. All of the assets have been collected.
  2. All of the assets of the estate have been inventoried.
  3. Any property that needs to be sold has already been sold.
  4. Any disputes among the beneficiaries or other interested parties have been resolved.
  5. All of the bills of the estate, including taxes, have been paid.

If you can answer yes to all of the above, chances are good that you are ready to close the estate. Your next step will be to file a petition with the probate court that tells the court what you have done, request an order to distribute the remaining assets, and request approval of any fees that you want to take for your services, as well as the services of the estate’s attorney. The probate court examiners will review the petition to ensure that it is in line with the provisions of the decedent’s will if he or she had one at the time she passed. Once the court orders that the assets be distributed and you complete this last step, you can ask the probate court to discharge you from your role as executor. For a more detailed overview of the process for closing an estate, review our article, “6 Steps for Closing a Probate Administration in California.”

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