Collect assets and pay debts
You can start collecting an estate's assets and paying the debts once probate has been granted.
Once you have been granted probate, you will be able to collect assets and pay off debts. You may need to sell assets in order to pay beneficiaries.
This might involve:
- setting up a bank account
- selling property or shares
- collecting interest.
To make recording this easier, you can set up a single bank account in the name of the estate to deposit any money from sales or interest.
Different organisations have different processes for releasing assets to an executor.
Often you will need to provide:
- a certified copy of the grant of probate
- personal identification.
Learn more about collecting assets at Legal Answers.
Sometimes the will might leave money to beneficiaries, rather than property.
In some cases, you will need to sell property or shares to make this possible.
As an executor, you are legally required to get a fair price for any assets you sell. If you do not sell assets at a fair price, you might be personally liable for costs, if beneficiaries sue.
To make sure you are getting a fair price for any property you sell, it might be useful to talk to an independent valuator before the sale.
Before anything from the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries, any existing debts need to be paid from the estate.
This is the case whether or not probate or administration was needed.
Debts might include:
- loans (credit cards, mortgages)
- funeral expenses.
You should get legal advice before you pay any debts owed by the estate.
Find out more about dealing with the estates debts at LawAccess NSW.