This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
The administrator is now ready to begin the work of administration, under the sanction and restraint of the State laws upon this subject, using the first ready money realized from the estate (in most States) to pay the funeral expenses of the deceased, the bills for nurses and medical attendance in his last illness, and the probate fees of the court; debts (if any) due to the United States; debts (if any) due to the State in which he lived; all liens that may exist upon and encumber any of his property, and, then, debts due to all other creditors. The administrator has no power outside of the State in which he acts in that capacity.
The first work to be done, however, is to search for and gather up all the personal property and real estate owned by the deceased. This must be carefully inventoried and classified. In some States the inventory is submitted to two or more appraisers, in order to obtain the real value of the listed property, who bring in a report worded as follows:
Inventory of Property of Willard J. Scott.
A true and perfect inventory and just appraisement of all and singular the goods and chattels, rights and credits which were of Willard J. Scott, late of the county of Kane, and State of Illinois, deceased, at the time of his death, to wit:
[Here follows the list of property, the personal (including the bonds, notes, book-accounts, classified as "good," "doubtful" or "worthless," as the case may be) in one column, and the real estate in another - the footing of each being noted separately].
Taken and appraised by us, the third and fourth days of January, A. D. 1883. GEORGE ERICKSON,
THOS. B. WELLS.
State of Illinois, County of Kane,
Personally appeared before me, a notary public in and for the county of Kane, and State of Illinois, the above-named George Erick-son and Thomas B. Wells, who solemnly swear (or affirm) that at the request of Raymond Scott, administrator, they did well and truly, and without prejudice or partiality, value and appraise the goods, chattels and credits which were of Willard J. Scott, deceased, as set forth in the foregoing inventory, and in all respects perform their duties as appraisers, to the best of their skill and judgment.
GEORGE ERICKSON, THOS. B. WELLS.
Sworn (or affirmed) and subscribed this fifth day of January, A. D. 1883. before me.
NELSON DODGE, Notary Public.
If sufficient property belonging to the deceased cannot be found to pay off his indebtedness, under ordinarily careful management, the administrator should at once notify the county (or probate) court that the estate is insolvent, and proceed according to the laws of the State in which he lives concerning insolvent debtors.
In Illinois, and possibly other States, every claim against a deceased person's estate must be accompanied by the claimant's affidavit that it "is just and unpaid, after allowing all just credits."
The administrator charges himself with whatever property of the deceased comes into his hands, valued at the sworn appraisement, and all moneys received on accounts, notes, bonds, mortgages and from all other resources of the estate; and credits himself with all moneys and effects paid out and bestowed upon creditors and heirs of the estate, together with his fees and commissions as administrator; and when the estate is fully settled he renders to the county or probate court, in the following form, his account, duly sworn to:
Account of Raymond Scott with Estate of Willard J. Scott.
The account of Raymond Scott, administrator of all and singular the goods and chattels, rights and credits which were possessed by Willard J. Scott, late a citizen of Kane county, in the State of Illinois, deceased:
RAYMOND SCOTT, Administrator,
In account with
Estate OF WILLARD J. SCOTT, Deceased.
Debits. Carefully itemized.
Credits. Carefully itemized.
Balance in favor of the estate........$--------
State of Illinois County of Kane, ss.
Before me, a justice of the peace for and within said county, personally appeared Raymond Scott, administrator aforesaid, who doth depose and say that the accompanying account is just and true, to the best of his knowledge and belief. Sworn (or affirmed) and subscribed this fifteenth day of November,
A. D. 1883.
WILLIAM H. WHITING, Justice of the Peace.
The balance derived from the estate, after paying all costs, charges and expenses that have accrued or stand against it, is distributed among the heirs by the judge of the court according to law and equity. The judge then formally discharges the administrator from all further responsibility and care of the estate.