Step 6 - Collecting Assets and paying Debts
It is strongly advised you advertise for any unknown creditors and / or beneficiaries to come forward. This offers protection and reduces your liability in the event of an unknown creditor comes forward at a later date; after all of money has been paid out. If you do not place the advertisement and money has been paid out the estate, then you may be expected to settle with the creditor from your own funds. Place a notice here if you haven't already.
The advertisement expires after 2 months and 1 day, after which time it is safe to distribute the estate, although it is advisable to wait 6 months from the date of death in the event of any claims being brought against the estate.
Register the Grant or Statutory Declarations with the Asset Holders
Once you have obtained the Grant of Representation it needs to be sent to all of the required companies to enable them to release the monies. This can either be the original or one of the sealed office copies.
Once the Grant of Representation has been received, you will be able to legally complete the sale of Assets, such as property or investments.
As you start to receive monies from the asset holders, you will need to ensure that the money is paid into the Executor account, keeping a separate note of the income and capital. Setting up a Cash account will help you with this.
Paying the Debts
Although there is no legal time limit for the payments to be made, it is advisable to wait until the expiry date of the statutory notices (which is 2 months and 1 day from the date of the notice, this is the time given for any unknown creditors or beneficiaries to come forward) before settling the Debts.
Debts are a priority and should be paid before any of the beneficiaries receive their entitlement.
Paying the Expenses
As well as existing Debts, there will also be certain Expenses that need to be paid, this will include any that have paid on behalf of the estate.