Q: are CD'S included in the estate to be reported to the county for their fee
A: All estate assets are included in the accounting and the gross value of the estate. If the CDs (Certificates of Deposit, I assume, and not compact disks) have named beneficiaries on them then the CDs pass directly to the beneficiary and are not part of the estate or included on the accounting or gross estate. Estate/probate fees owing to the court are generally low flat fees based on the value of the estate. For purposes of calculating the maximum statutory fee a Personal Representative and estate lawyer can charge for their time in administering the estate, the percentage is based on the gross value of all estate assets without deduction for debt (mortgage balances, credit card debt, etc.) on those assets, and before deduction of other estate administrative expenses (reimbursement of funeral and burial costs, income taxes, bank fees, appraiser fees, professional accounting fees, etc.). The Personal Representative's job is to gather and manage all estate assets, and in the case of financial accounts and CDs, typically that includes closing and transferring all balances to an estate account pending payment of administrative expenses and final distribution to the heirs. For CDs and stocks and bonds, the PR is granted discretion as to the timing of such liquidation so as to maximize the estate value, including rolling over the CD's and reinvesting or holding onto stocks.
A: Yes, any asset in the estate (titled in the name of the decedent when they died) must be reported to the county and listed on the Inventory.
In contrast, any CD or other asset that automatically went directly to a named beneficiary wouldn't be a part of the probate estate and wouldn't be listed as a probate asset for purposes of calculating the probate fee (although it may still need to be disclosed on the estate Information Report and may still have inheritance tax).
While not legal advice, I hope this general information helps.
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