How Does an Executor Gather Assets?

Before an executor can serve in their future duties as personal representative for a deceased person’s estate, they must begin by inventorying all assets. Identifying all assets that belong to the decedents and safekeeping them if necessary are two important components of serving as a personal representative.

Safekeeping is especially important if the decedent left behind any assets that could be targeted by thieves. Part of this process, especially if you are not familiar with the belongings of the decedent, could be an actual hunt for assets, such as spending time tracking down insurance policies, safe deposit boxes or financial accounts. Usually an interview with family members and a search through all documents belonging to the deceased is necessary.

Some of these assets could be mentioned in the decedent’s will but the executor cannot stop there and it is dangerous to assume that the only assets belonging to the decedent are those named outright in the will. Once the executor has gathered this material, they then must maintain the assets that require any upkeep. For example, insurance policies maintained by the decedent should not lapse at this point in time.

There is one key way to pay for these ongoing benefits during this temporary period which is to use the estate’s money. No survivors are responsible for paying out of pocket costs for a deceased’s estate.

The more estate planning work you do in advance for your loved ones, the easier it will be for the personal representative to close out your Virginia estate. You can discuss your planning with them or leave detailed instructions and documents for that executor

For more information about naming a personal representative for your estate in Virginia, set aside time to speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer today.



How Does Someone Qualify as A Personal Representative in The Commonwealth of Virginia?

Each state has specific rules about who can and cannot serve as a personal representative. Being mindful of this and thinking carefully about who you want to serve in this role, who is eligible to serve in this role, and who has the necessary skills and organization to serve in this role, can all help point you in the right direction to selecting the right personal representative in Virginia.

The general duties of a personal representative include collecting all assets, paying any legally enforceable debts, filing tax returns, and distributing remaining assets to beneficiaries. An executor, administrator or personal representative in the Commonwealth of Virginia has to be a person at least 18 years old.

If bonding is required, this person must also be capable to be bonded to serve as a special administrator. A qualified person could be a non-resident or resident of Virginia but will be required to use a resident of Virginia to co-qualify. Furthermore, the personal representative in a Virginia probate case has to establish to the clerk of court that they meet the grounds for fulfilling the duties of a personal representative. In certain situations, institutions like trust companies or banks might also serve as personal representatives.

An individual should consider whether or not they will qualify for this appointment prior to filing a petition to be appointed as a legal representative. The selection of your personal representative has an important impact on your overall estate case and should therefore be taken seriously. If you need to update your personal representative in VA, schedule a meeting with a Virginia estate planning attorney now.