Probate In Colorado: Valuing, Liquidating, And Distributing Assets
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Some of the most important aspects of settling an estate is inventorying, valuing, liquidating, and distributing all of the assets of the person who has died.
As personal representative (executor) of a will, you’ll perform this duty with the help of your “Letters of Administration,” which are also known as “Letters Testamentary.”
Provided by the probate court, the Letter of Administration is a legal document that gives you the authority to make transactions on behalf of the estate.
The most common assets in an estate include:
- bank accounts (checking and savings)
- retirement accounts (IRAs, 401ks, etc)
- stocks and bonds
- vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, RVs, etc)
- real estate (house, condo, townhome, vacation home, commercial real estate, etc)
- household items (furniture, TVs, clothes, etc)
- jewelry and other personal items
- artwork and collections
- business interests
If the will has designated that specific assets (such pieces of jewelry) will go to specific beneficiaries, you can distribute those directly.
With all of the other assets, however, you’ll need to liquidate them at fair market value. With higher-value items, it can be helpful to get an independent appraisal, so that you’re certain that you’re selling the asset for what it’s worth.
As you sell off assets from the estate, you’ll put the proceeds from the sales into an estate bank account. From this estate account, you’ll pay off all of the debts that the estate owes (including funeral expenses, medical bills, creditors, tax liabilities, etc).
At that point, you can then distribute the remaining funds to the beneficiaries, according to the terms of the will.