Settling an estate can be a complex process, which is why it is so important to discuss who will serve as your executor well in advance. This person should be prepared to handle these different tasks and be aware of the fiduciary responsibility they hold to your estate and your beneficiaries.
Expenses of an estate must be identified and properly paid out along with any other probate related debts before distributions can be made to beneficiaries. Multiple different costs apply when someone passes away and the estate must be settled. The primary expenses of most estates include;
Fees, such as hiring an accountant or estate planning attorney, as well as fees for the personal representative or executor which may be set by the state. Certain NH rules determine the order in which your expenses are paid out. With insolvent estates, this means that those at the bottom of the priority list may not be paid at all. Here are some examples of common items paid out with priority:
- Taxes, such as income tax, inheritance tax or estate tax.
- Outstanding debts.
- Property distribution and maintenance.
- Final expenses, such as cremation or funeral costs.
The estate may also pay for things, such as appraisals necessary to determine the estate asset value, closing costs connected to the value of a home, credit cards, liens, medical or medical bills or incidental costs, such as mileage reimbursements and recording fees. Make sure that you have considered all potential expenses that could limit the value of your overall estate if you are intending for certain loved ones to receive assets from your estate. Speak with a qualified estate planning attorney in NH to learn more.