Being a personal representative comes with a burden of responsibilities and added pressure from family members. It makes sense to want to get it done as soon as possible. After a few months or a year, you might finally be able to close the estate. However, any unanticipated assets you uncover after may introduce new problems.
Discovered assets after probate; now what?
One of the key functions of a personal representative, also known as an executor, is to create an inventory of all the deceased’s assets. This includes looking through their bank accounts, automobiles, real estate, furnishings and other possessions. However, even the most meticulous individual would have a hard time finding an asset that the deceased did not disclose to anyone.
It happens often too. Sometimes a person just has a bank account, a stash of cash or a piece of real estate that no one knows about, not even their family. Additionally, it is possible for a missing asset to resurface unexpectedly.
Ideally, you should treat any additional assets you uncover or learn about as part of the deceased’s estate. In Arkansas, a closed estate can be reopened for good reason, including the discovery of additional property. Anyone with a stake in the estate or the personal executive may petition the court to reopen the estate.
Revisiting a probate case is a complex but necessary step before distributing the new asset to heirs. There may be several forms to fill out, deadlines to meet and legal processes to follow. Moreover, overlooked assets could affect previous distribution and estate matters.
Some wills specify what to do with overlooked property, but many do not. If you have stumbled into previously unknown assets and a mountain of new responsibilities, you may consider consulting a probate attorney. They are aware of the challenges that come with reopening a probate case and the processes that come with it.