Summary: While liquidating the material possessions of a friend or loved one can be difficult, there are options available. Many estate executors turn to professional estate sale companies for help. Atlanta estate sale companies can help coordinate appraisals, take care of the sale, and then send the executor the proceeds.
An estate executor is an individual responsible for settling another person’s estate. He or she manages the deceased person’s assets until all debts and taxes are paid; they oversee the distribution of property to the heirs and beneficiaries. An executor can also help with the probate process and filings with the probate court.
In Georgia, if a person names a specific individual in their will, he or she is then responsible for going to probate court and requesting to be formally appointed as the executor (also known as a personal representative). Once the executor takes an oath promising to act in the best interests of the estate, the probate court will issue them Letters Testamentary (or Letters Administration if the individual is a court-appointed estate administrator). The Letters Testamentary gives the executor the duty and authority to: collect and inventory the deceased person’s assets, have those assets appraised, and sell any assets if necessary.
An executor may sell items from the estate to pay off debts or to get rid of assets that are declining in value. However, it is important to note that only the executor or administrator can sell estate property (not the heirs or creditors), and that the executor may need to obtain prior approval from the probate court, depending on the type of asset.
While liquidating the material possessions of a friend or loved one can be difficult, there are options available. Many estate executors turn to professional estate sale companies for help. Atlanta estate sale companies can help coordinate appraisals, take care of the sale, and then send the executor the financial proceeds (minus commission).
Previously, Siedentopf Law spoke with Georgia-based estate sale business Family Matters Estate Services about the estate sale process and tips for those looking to downsize or sell family assets. Family Matters Estate Services recommended researching what items are popular among antique dealers and charity organizations, and pricing the estate assets accordingly. Some of the most desirable items on the current market are mid-20th century furniture and clothing, good jewelry, sterling silver, high-end artwork, and quality Oriental rugs. Chests, high-end kitchen equipment, large bedframes, and patio furniture are also solid sellers. Some of the more difficult items to sell are linens, china, dining room sets, and heavy wooden furniture.
If an executor does decide to sell some of the assets via an estate sale, it is important that he or she keep careful records. The executor should have a complete inventory of the estate assets, including the items sold. They should maintain appraisal records as well as the contact information for the appraisers and estate sale companies. The executor should also keep records of the final sale amounts and how those funds were used to pay for any estate debts.
If you are unfamiliar with the probate process or the roles of an executor, contact Siedentopf Law at (404) 746-6066 or our online contact form. You can also read our blog “Should I Accept the Role of Executor?”.
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