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An Overview of Estate Settlement for Executors, Trustees, and Beneficiaries

Last update on: Aug 25 2020

After someone dies, an executor is in charge of the estate. There are a lot of steps involved in the estate settlement process. This article gives an overview of the many steps involved with tips on how to handle them.

Sometimes, an executor may not even be needed. The most obvious reason being if an asset is owned jointly with the right of survivorship. For example, if a couple’s bank account was jointly owned, then when one spouse dies the second gets the account.

Furthermore, if there is a beneficiary designation, such as life insurance or an RIA, then in order to receive these assets the beneficiary needs to file a claim form.

Still, there are other reasons, such as if the deceased held all of their assets in a revocable living trust, or if the deceased’s individual assets do not exceed a certain threshold — which depends on the state.


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