How Is the Probate Estate Closed? (Transcript)
D. "Rep" DeLoach III, Estate Planning and Board Certified Elder Law Attorney
The probate estate is closed after all the personal representative's affairs are wrapped up, which means the bills are paid, the assets have been inventoried and typically liquidated and they're all ready for distribution. As part of this process then the personal representative gives an accounting to all the beneficiaries and the beneficiaries have the ability to object to the accounting or they have the ability to sign off for the accounting. But this would mean that the personal representative says that the bills that were paid, the taxes that were paid and the costs that were paid. Here's the personal representative's fee if they wanted to take a fee, here's the attorney's fee if they wanted to take a fee. This is the amount of money that's left over and then this is going to be how the assets are going to be distributed according to the state rules.
Once this is done, the beneficiaries have the right or they have the ability to sign off on the accounting. They have the ability to waive the accounting, or if they don't do anything, then the personal representatives give them notice and they have 20 days to object to the accounting. Then once all those periods run, then generally the personal representative will be discharged from duty from the estate and all the assets distributed out to the beneficiaries.