It is always hard losing loved ones. In addition to grieving, you’re also probably busy sorting through the painful but necessary tasks associated with the death of a loved one. If you’re going through the paperwork and notice that your loved one passed without a trust or with only a will in place, you may be wondering how their estate will be distributed and what the next steps will look like.
Do you need to file a Court Accounting?
It depends. In California, an estate usually means that the decedent died without a trust or with only a will in place. Without a trust, it makes it difficult to determine how the decedent’s property should be distributed. A court accounting will be required by a California court if the decedent has assets that are not co-owned with someone else and if the total dollar amount is over $150,000. If these circumstances apply to your situation, then you will have to go to court and get the estate probated.
If you have to go to court, an administrator will be appointed by the court to act as a personal representative to collect the assets, pay any debts and expenses, and distribute the remainder of the estate to the beneficiaries under the supervision of the court.
Many people will do whatever they can to avoid formal accountings. Court accountings take time and money to draft and must be attached to a petition asking the court to approve a formal court accounting. Depending on the facts laid out and your personal circumstances surrounding your estate, you may or may not need to go the court accounting route.
Related Article: Court Accounting: When Would I Need It?
Have more questions regarding court accounting?
Marcia L. Campbell, CPA is committed to helping each client plan for the personal and financial decisions that need to be made for the future. Marcia’s team has a genuine interest in your well-being and a well-established list of services to help guide you through this process.
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