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Can an Executor of an Estate Sign a Promissory Note on Behalf of the Estate in Washington State?
by Liy in Personal Finance
It can take up to two years in Washington state for an estate to clear probate. Until the probate court closes the estate, it is up to the executor to manage the finances of an estate. Depending on the language in the will, the executor must sign any documents, including promissory notes, on behalf of the estate. General Power of AppointmentIf the will, or court if there is no will, gives the e

Can an Executor Disburse the Funds of an Estate While the Estate Is Still in Probate?
by björnen in Personal Finance
An executor is the person responsible for transferring your estate property to new owners after you die through a process generally referred to as probate. This person has a duty to ensure your estate property is distributed according to the laws of your state and in accordance with the terms of any last will and testament. The executor must disperse all funds while the estate is still in probate.

Can You Cash a Check Made Out to an Estate if the Estate Is Not Probated?
by Broburger in Personal Finance
When a person dies, some individuals and organizations issue checks made out to the estate of the deceased. They do this in order to prevent fraud and provide greater protection to the assets the deceased was supposed to have. Most estate issues are handled via the probate court, which typically makes it necessary to go through probate to cash estate checks. What Probate DoesThe purpose of prob

Can an Executor of an Estate Spend Any Money From the Estate?
by dummyadresse in Personal Finance
Before a person dies, she typically specifies someone to execute, or settle, her estate in the event of her death. Even if she doesn't do this, others may apply to be the estate executor if they feel obligated to do so, or the court may appoint an executor. Estate executors can spend money from the estates they handle, but unless a will makes provision for compensation, all spending must be in the

The Difference Between a Gross Estate & a Taxable Estate
by Christopher Harris in Personal Finance
After you die, the assets and debts you own become part of your estate. Whether your estate will owe any federal estate tax in 2011 depends on how much it's worth. Although the federal government doesn't tax estates below the federal exclusion level, your state may. As a result, estates worth less than this federal exclusion amount may owe tax, so it's important to calculate both the gross and ta

What if There Is Not Enough Money in a Decedent's Estate to Settle the Estate?
by StereoPixel in Personal Finance
In general, when someone dies, she wants to leave behind some type of legacy, even if it is a simple bequest to a close family or friend. During probate, the court oversees the distribution of a decedent’s estate. If not enough money remains in the estate to handle creditor claims, probate laws determine the process used to settle the estate. Insolvent EstateThe probate process generally

If an Estate Is Probated, What If the Administrator of the Estate Dies?
by hochi in Personal Finance
When a person dies, the court appoints an administrator or executor to take care of the estate of the deceased, also known as the decedent. All of the decedent's assets, from real estate to cash accounts to artwork -- becomes part of the estate, and the administrator is in charge of liquidating assets, paying bills and issuing the final tax return, as well as distributing assets to heirs. When the

Does Executor of an Estate Need to Get an Employer ID Number for the Estate?
by Stuka in Personal Finance
The executor or personal representative of an estate has many important responsibilities, including notifying potential heirs, identifying and appraising the decedent's assets, settling with creditors and distributing proceeds to beneficiaries after payment of state and federal taxes. In performing his duties, the personal representative is acting on behalf of a separate legal entity, the estate,

Does an Estate Pay the Administrator to Handle the Estate?
by Tom Arleth in Personal Finance
Taking on the responsibility of settling an estate can be a challenging task with very little reward. You will have to file countless documents with the court, have the deceased's assets appraised, and decide if all the creditors that make a claim for payment are legitimate. The good news is that unless the deceased expressly prohibited it in his will, you'll receive compensation --- usually a por

When a Surviving Spouse Dies, Is Federal Estate Tax Paid on the Estate of the First Spouse?
by Pablo in Personal Finance
Federal Estate Tax is paid shortly after a person passes away regardless of when his surviving spouse passes away. While a decedent is allowed to transfer as much of his property as he wants to his spouse without tax implications, this does not mean that when the surviving spouse dies the IRS has to reassess the original spouse's estate tax liability. Instead, it is generally recognized that in mo

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