Last Updated Sept. 15, 2017: How to Sell the Estate’s Stocks?
From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: How to Sell the Estate’s Stocks?
“My grandmother died in a senior living facility in Philadelphia. She died without any real assets except for a small bank account and some stock held just her name. Her will said the stock was supposed to be used to pay her last bills and then anything left over would be divided among the grandchildren. How do we sell the stocks? Do we have to sell it through Computershare or can we sell it through any brokerage?”
Accessing the Deceased’s Accounts.
During her lifetime, only your grandmother could access or liquidate her stock and bank accounts. Now that she is dead, the accounts will sit until an authorized person contacts the bank and brokerage. As your grandmother had a will, and she lived in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, that authorized person is the Executor under the Will.
Filing the Will.
The Executor needs to take the Will to the Philadelphia County Register of Wills. Besides the Will, you will also need an original death certificate, a picture ID, and a checkbook. The Register will then examine the will and verify its authenticity. The Register will also confirm the death certificate’s validity. Lastly, she will prove that the person in the room is the same person the Will names as Executor (hence the ID).
Being Named the Executor.
Once confirmed, and fee paid (the checkbook/credit card), the Register will take the will and exchange it for paperwork that authorizes the Executor to act for the Estate.
Gathering the Assets.
That paperwork goes to the bank and the brokerage house. They, in turn, will now liquidate the stock if the Executor makes that request. There is a lot to being an Executor, including filing the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Return, paying creditors, etc. You would be well advised to retain an experienced Philadephia Probate Attorney to help you.
Remember, the Executor is personally responsible. The judge can surcharge the executor for misapplied funds. So, pay no bills and distribute no assets until fully understanding all estate assets and liabilities.
In conclusion, in this Post, I tried to explain “How to Sell the Estate’s Stocks.” So, let me know how I did. Comments and questions are welcome!
If you have further questions about the Probate Process or any other questions about Probate, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation with one of our Philadelphia Probate Lawyers
Wills, Trusts, Probate, and Estate Litigation It’s All We Do!
Author, Peter Klenk, Esq.