A Guide to Marshalling the Assets in Probate

The marshalling of probate assets is an important step in the probate process. Call Kevin C. Martin, Attorney at Law, PLLC, for assistance.


Ensure the Estate Assets of Your Loved One Don’t Fall Into the Wrong Hands.

Marshalling assets is an essential part of estate administration. If you’re designated as a representative or executor, be prepared to take on several responsibilities. The most critical of these is managing the decedent’s assets. This is done so that the assets can be allocated according to the terms of the trust or will.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you better understand this task. Contact an asset preservation attorney in DC, Kevin C. Martin, Attorney At Law.

What Does “Marshalling the Assets” Mean?

The process of “marshaling” assets is an important aspect of estate and probate administration. Marshalling probate assets basically means the collection of assets. When a new estate is opened, the personal representative must locate and take control of any probate assets.

When an estate is opened, the personal representative must find and take control of any probate asset that belonged to the deceased. The assets of the decedent are identified, priced, and retitled in the estate’s name. Once retitled, the assets can be cashed out and deposited into another estate account. It can also be secured until distribution to the beneficiaries. 

Why Is Marshalling the Probate Assets Important?

Marshalling probate assets ensures that all of the deceased’s assets are accounted for and are distributed to the appropriate beneficiaries. This prevents fraud and abuse, as well as confusion and frustration among family members.

The process of establishing ownership of assets is extremely difficult. Other individuals, such as healthcare workers or family members, might still have access to the decedent’s property, which is why an executor or trustee must identify and collect the estate assets as quickly as possible.

Additionally, the process can become complicated due to the legal requirements imposed by each state. Kevin C. Martin, Attorney at Law, can guide you through the asset protection planning process and ensure all steps are taken.

The Process of Marshalling the Assets

The asset marshalling process depends on the nature of the estate’s assets. For example, bank accounts must be closed first and then deposited into an estate account. Stocks, on the other hand, can be transferred to another name very easily. Jewelry, artwork, and other valuable items may need to be appraised before being transferred to the estate account.

When marshaling assets, a person designated as a personal representative or executor must do the following:

  1. Obtain an estate employer ID number (EIN), which will be linked to the estate account for tax purposes.
  2. Create an estate account.
  3. Transfer properties that have no beneficiaries listed to the estate account.
  4. Appraise real property, businesses, or artwork that may have value.
  5. Sell or transfer corporeal or real property located in the estate.
  6. Settle liabilities and reimburse parties for costs incurred.
  7. Get an accountant’s help to file an income tax return for any unpaid years.
  8. Give creditors time to present any claims they have on the estate.
  9. Maintain adequate records for all assets marshalled and make sure they are all accounted for.

There are many difficult decisions to make as an executor or estate representative, including whether or not to sell probate assets or transfer at value. Consulting an asset protection planning attorney could be beneficial.

Identification of Assets

The secret to easily locating a decedent’s property is knowing where to look. The assets can be identified and located through the following:

  • Prior tax returns
  • Out-of-state real estate
  • Brokerage account
  • Monthly statements or documents used to identify assets
  • Deeds and vehicle titles
  • Storage locations such as a filing cabinet or safety deposit box

Valuation of Assets

The next step is to determine the value of the decedent’s assets after they have been identified and gathered.

All the assets need to be valued for several reasons, including the following:

  • In order to apply for probate, the value of the estate must be provided.
  • The value of the estate will determine if inheritance tax is payable (and how much, if any).
  • If any assets have increased in value since the deceased died, the Capital Gains Tax must be calculated.

Some methods of valuing assets are:

  • For real estate, the help of real estate agents is enlisted to give an estimate.
  • For businesses, an experienced appraiser is hired to value the business’s intangible and tangible assets.
  • For personal property, an art museum or auction house can provide a professional valuation for artworks and antiques.

Distribution or Liquidation

Estate liquidation involves putting up a deceased individual’s assets for sale. The aim is to settle debts with the proceeds and distribute what’s left based on the deceased’s wishes.

The executor must decide how to market the estate liquidation sale. You can distribute flyers or advertise online or in local papers. However, you must secure all the necessary paperwork and permits before the sale.

How an Estate Planning Lawyer Fromm Kevin C. Martin, Attorney at Law, Pllc, Can Help.

Your role as executor is to ensure that the assets are distributed according to their rights, from the identification of the assets to their distribution. It is a critical step in the estate process and should be done right to ensure the speedy distribution of assets.

Our skilled estate tax protection attorney can help you ensure that everything is done by the book. We provide a comprehensive service, from gathering all the necessary documents to preparing a will and filing the necessary paperwork. We can also advise on any tax implications of the estate and provide legal advice.

We at Kevin C. Martin, Attorney at Law, understand the stress executors face. It can be overwhelming to navigate a legal process while still grieving the loss of a loved one. Maintaining communication is important to us, and we guarantee to address all your concerns.

Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help.