Dec 20, 2013

The Top 5 Liquidation Mistakes Made by Untrained Estate Executors

To the uninitiated, being chosen as executor of an estate would seem to be an honor; it’s an indication that the decedent trusted you to wrap up their affairs. At first glance, the job appears to be easy enough: liquidate all the assets, pay all the liabilities (including taxes) and distribute the remainder to the heirs.

Thoughts of distinction quickly disappear, though, when an executor begins to inventory the estate’s tangible personal property. Room by room, the executor sorts through a lifetime accumulation of “stuff” in the closets, rooms, sheds, garage, basement, attic and storage units. Trunks, boxes and tool chests must be opened to see what’s in them. Categories of personal property must be valued and collections appraised. Personal property values are added to the value of the estate and taxed accordingly (at the county, state and/or federal levels). Compared to other estate assets (like homes and stocks), it’s an enormous amount of work for a very small return on investment. Read More

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