If someone in your life has recently passed away, you could find yourself involved in the probate process. Probate courts oversee the distribution of estates.
For some, probate can be confusing and stressful. Understanding the purpose of probate and how it works can help you as you navigate the process.
Filing with the court
First, your attorney can file a request with the probate court. It is important to validate the will and notify any beneficiaries that the process has begun. You can also publish a notice in your local newspaper regarding the estate. Next, the court appoints an executor to administer the estate.
Handling the estate
If you are the executor, you are responsible for managing your loved one’s property throughout the probate process. You need to handle any debts and taxes on the estate. You can also have an appraisal of the estate’s assets. Lawyers who handle estate law can help executors file important documents and administer the estate.
As executor, you are in charge of distributing property to the estate’s beneficiaries. You should send mail to notify the heirs of any hearings. Depending on the estate, you can set up a trust or transfer assets directly. An attorney can help you manage the responsibilities of distributing and closing the estate.
The probate process can be complex, involving significant paperwork and administrative responsibilities, particularly if you are the executor. A lawyer with experience in estate law can help you manage these tasks as you distribute your loved one’s assets.