It happened TWICE recently. In an effort to save time and money, the beneficiaries of a deceased person’s assets opened an estate, when it was not required. As a result, lots of paperwork had to be filed and filing fees were needlessly incurred. Here are some examples of when in estate does not have to be opened:
If the decedent died with his or her assets in a living trust.
If the decedent’s accounts were in joint names.
If the accounts had a beneficiary designation, like an IRA, or life insurance policy.
Or any combination of the above.
So before you go running off to the Register of Wills to open an estate, first make sure that there is truly a need to do so, or your attempt to be efficient may backfire.
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