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What does “Close the Estate” mean in Chester County, Pennsylvania?

Posted on Tue Oct 6, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: Closing a Chester County Estate

Most Recently Updated July 26, 2018.

“My father named me the Executor of his estate. I filed his will with the Register of Wills in Chester County, paid the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax, and took care of all his bills. There was very little money left for my sister and I, and I divided that between us. How do I now close the estate?”

Closing a Chester County Estate

Closing a Chester County Estate

You will not find anything in the packet of information from the Chester County Register of Wills about how to “Close the Estate,” because it never really happens. The term refers to when the final assets of the estate are distributed. This normally means that the Executor has run out of things to do.

This should happen after the family settlement agreement is signed and filed with the Register. As Executor you continue to have all the powers and responsibilities, even after the assets are distributed. If you discover an asset years from now (such as a forgotten certificate of deposit or a deferred stock dividend), you, as the Executor, still have the power to claim that asset and distribute it to your sister and yourself. Or, if a creditor (say, the IRS) makes a future claim, you will be the one responsible to address the claim.

This is why it is very important that the Executor make sure that all claims are addressed before making final distribution of the Estate assets. Often, the Executor will keep a reserve fund, just in case something unexpected happens. This way you will have the money necessary to address a surprise creditor or to hire a Chester County Probate Lawyer to help you collect a discovered asset.

More Probate Questions?

Closing a Chester County Estate is only part of the overall probate process. By all means, if you wish to learn more, please read my more detailed article, The Probate Process All You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: Closing a Chester County Estate

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining closing a Chester County estate. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Probate Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced Probate Attorneys.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

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Chester County, Pennsylvania, Probate, Probate Attorney, Probate Lawyer

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