Given all the steps needed to carry out probate, you might wonder when you as an executor will finally have finished administering an estate. While being an executor may involve long and complicated work, there is a point where you can finally close out the estate.
According to Smart Asset, closing an estate happens when you have completed every other duty except for dispersing the estate assets. The following steps mark the final actions of probate.
Approval of estate accounting
The final step needed to begin distributing assets is to make sure the beneficiaries of the estate give their approval. This means you will provide an accounting to the heirs. This accounting describes the estate assets and debts, as well as taxes and other expenses the estate has incurred.
If the beneficiaries accept this accounting, you may move on to the next step. However, sometimes one or more heirs dispute an accounting and take the matter to court, which further drags out probate.
The executor makes final payments
Following an acceptance of the accounting, your next action is to complete all asset dispersals and payments. This includes reimbursing creditors for debts and paying the final state and federal taxes for the estate.
The court closes probate
Upon completing asset distribution and estate payments, you are ready to file a petition with the court to finally close out probate. The court will review your petition and if there are no outstanding issues, the court will give its approval.
Keep in mind that probate cases can vary. You may have specific issues that delay the closing of your probate. Still, the resolution of all estate expenses and debts plus the satisfaction of all heirs generally does a lot to complete probate.