There are many tasks that an executor will need to complete after an individual dies. Typically, the first step in the process of settling a deceased person’s affairs is to present the will to a probate judge. Probate may take place in Louisiana if the deceased individual lived or owned property in the state.
What happens after the will is presented?
After presenting the will, the judge overseeing the probate proceeding will provide the executor with the authority needed to carry out his or her duties. Those duties typically include filing tax returns, paying creditors and inventorying assets. Any assets that remain within the estate after taxes and other debts have been paid can be distributed to beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries may request a full accounting of estate assets
Prior to closing a probate case, an executor will likely need to provide an accounting report to the judge. However, the beneficiaries to the estate can also request a full accounting of estate assets. This may include a detailed inventory of any assets that an individual had in his or her estate at the time of that person’s death. Beneficiaries will likely need to sign a refunding bond and document that releases the executor from any future claims that might arise.
Do you need a waiver of bond?
A waiver of bond is something that may only be necessary if the deceased individual did not have a valid will at the time of his or her death. Furthermore, the requirement may be waived if the estate is valued at less than $20,000. This limit is generally in effect whether or not a surviving spouse is the sole beneficiary of the estate.
An estate planning attorney may be able to tell you more about probate and provide insight into who might be best suited to oversee your estate. He or she may also suggest ways to avoid probate altogether such as putting assets in a trust. If you are an executor, an attorney may be able to help you navigate the process in a timely manner.