Know when to Reopen an Estate

How to Know when to Reopen an Estate
This video contains nothing more than someones opinion and is for strictly educational use only.
How to Know when to Reopen an Estate An estate refers to someones plan for the distribution of their property belongings and money after they are deceased. Once an estate has been fully administered and closed it generally stays that way. However there are times when an estate must be reopened. For example you may discover other estate assets. The amount type and form of ownership will determine if you can collect them without reopening the estate. In other situations the appearance of a new creditor or new will requires the reopening of an estate. Reopen if you discover an asset. This is the most common reason for reopening an estate. For example you may discover a bank account retirement account bonds or some other type of asset after the estate has been closed. If so you can petition the court to reopen the estate.Consider reopening an estate if you discover a new debt. Someone who lent the deceased money might appear to make a claim for payment from the estate. Be sure to check the validity of the claim as these are often fraudulent debts. But in some situations you may need to reopen the estate. Analyze whether or not the claim is timely.Reopen the estate if all assets were not distributed. The personal representative might have closed the estate without properly distributing all assets to heirs or beneficiaries. If so you can petition the court to reopen the estate.Analyze whether to reopen after the discovery of a will. You may unearth a new will when going through the deceaseds belongings. Often a court will refuse to revoke probate because a new will has been discovered. However you should analyze the situation.Check whether to reopen for a newly discovered heir. Previously unknown heirs have been known to come out of the woodwork when someone passes away. If a new heir steps forward youll have to analyze whether to reopen the estate.Check if you need to reopen for litigation. Sometimes an estate will bring a wrongful death lawsuit for the death of the deceased. Also the estate might be sued for any wrongdoing committed by the deceased. In these situations you may need to reopen the estate.Consult with a probate attorney. If you ever have a question you should meet with an experienced probate attorney. Every situation is different and laws often vary by jurisdiction. Accordingly only an attorney can analyze your specific situation and offer tailored advice.

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