Marshaling Assets in Bethesda Probate Cases

Marshaling assets refers to the stage of probate that involves collecting the assets of the estate. This entails the identification, valuation, transfer, and inventorying of all estate assets. The process can be complex and detailed, so it is important for someone beginning to marshal assets in a probate case in Bethesda to contact an experienced probate lawyer in order to have assistance relieving some of these difficult responsibilities. A compassionate attorney can help reduce any of the stress associated with marshaling the assets and can streamline the process.

Identifying Property

The location and identification of a decedent’s assets will depend on the nature of those assets. The Personal Representative will also review the decedent’s personal files and may request a tax abstract to determine what assets were reported on the decedent’s previous years’ income tax returns.

A common misunderstanding of identifying property is that the scope of marshaling of the assets of an estate in Bethesda probate changes based on the dollar value of that estate. However, this is often not the case. Instead, the scope generally expands based on the manner in which the decedent’s assets are distributed. For example, the estate of a decedent involving millions of dollars in just a few financial holdings may be administrated smoothly and efficiently, while the estate of a decedent involving hundreds of thousands of dollars in many financial holdings may require significant time and effort. In this way, the process of administering an estate and the scope of the time that is required is really dependent on the decedent’s estate planning prior to death and the manner in which their assets are distributed.

Transferring Assets

The manner by which estate assets are transferred also depends on the nature of the assets. Generally, bank accounts are possessed or marshaled by changing the name of the account to the name of the estate. Often, real property assets remain in the name of the decedent until distribution is made. At distribution, such real property may either be transferred by a deed to the designated beneficiary or sold. Similarly, cars may often also be sold or transferred by title.

Record Keeping

Good record keeping is the key to smooth estate administration. Generally, the Personal Representative of an estate should keep track of all estate income, refunds, and disbursements by recording the date of the payment, the name of the payee, and the source of the payment of the funds. Additionally, it is important that the Personal Representative keep track of the process of marshaling the assets in Bethesda probate by recording what assets have been marshaled, the value of the assets as of the date of death, and the date upon which the assets were deposited into the estate account.

Administration Complications

There are a number of factors that can complicate the process of marshaling an estate’s assets in Bethesda probate cases. Generally, the most complicating factor relates to the ease with which assets may be located and identified. Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine what assets are outstanding and what assets even exist. Thus, with estates for which the decedent did not leave a personal accounting of their assets, the process of locating and identifying assets can be complicated and time-consuming.

Additionally, family dynamics may complicate the marshaling and distribution of an estate’s assets. Grief can play a large role in the administration of an estate and can often lead to family dispute of challenges as family members and loved ones deal with the death of the decedent. A Bethesda estates attorney can help immensely in trying to avoid any disputes and mitigating them if they come along.