After distributing the final income amounts, paying the last expenses, and filing the final tax returns it is time to file the final accounting. We share some tips for trustees to consider when doing so.
What is the difference between probate and non-probate?
Completing a non-probate final accounting is similar to probate accounting. According to The Balance, probate assets are assets held in the decedent’s name alone on his date of death or which may be payable to his estate. This probate process also involves the court to determine how a person’s assets pass to his heirs or beneficiaries after his death.
Non-probate assets on the other hand are not affected by the will or by intestacy and are distributed without the need for involving the court. Non-probate assets include jointly owned assets, assets held in a trust, assets with a named beneficiary such as life insurance or retirement plans, and POD (payable on death) or TOD (transfer on death) accounts.
Tips for completing non-probate accounting.
Tip #1 – Regardless if you’re completing a probate or non-probate final accounting, you will know this is the final accounting when it is marked as “final.” The total charges and the total credits will show zero balances and the beneficiaries will then sign their acceptance of the accounting.
Tip #2 – Remember that when you file a non-probate final accounting that just because the income interest in the trust has ended, it does not mean you should not prepare the annual account. It may take 1 year after the income interest has been distributed before you actually get to prepare the final account.
Tip #3 – When you are terminating a trust, it does not mean that the remaining assets transfer immediately to the remaindermen. It could take quite some time. As you’re responsible for any assets, you need to account for them.
Tip #4 – Once the final accounting is prepared, give it to the beneficiaries along with the release to sign off on.
Related Article: Steps to Take After a Trust’s Final Accounting
Have more questions regarding final accounting?
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