Probate is the court-supervised process needed to confirm the last will’s authenticity if there is one. Probate laws vary from one state to another and depend on the deceased person’s estate size. However, there are several necessary stages in probate applicable in every case.
If you have been named an executor of the will or a personal representative of the deceased person or are just interested in how the probate process works, this article is for you. We’ve contacted the experts from https://probateadvance.com/ – a company specializing in the inheritance process – and asked for advice.
Below, you will find the necessary information about when the probate process is required, how to probate the will in 6 steps, and what exactly you have to do. Read on and make the process run smoothly.
When is Probate Necessary?
If the deceased person died without a will, or if the deceased person’s will is not valid, the probate process is required.
In addition, probate may be necessary if:
- The deceased person had bank accounts and/or stocks;
- The deceased person had a business;
- The deceased person left behind minor children.
Probate won’t be necessary if the deceased person owned a house in joint tenancy with someone else. Also, if the deceased person had a life insurance policy, the payout won’t have to go through probate.
If you are unsure whether any of the above-mentioned situations applies to your case, you may as well consult with a probate attorney. It is not worth it to ignore this important detail that may lead to unnecessary expenses.
How to Probate a Will in 6 Steps?
Probate does not have to be a complicated process. In fact, there are just six steps you need to take to successfully probate a will:
1. Make Sure There Is A Will
First of all, before you start the probate process, make sure there is a will. If there is one, check it to see what the executor’s responsibilities and powers are. The executor is the person named in the will who will be responsible for executing the instructions. If no executor was appointed, you may be asked to fulfill this role.
2. File A Petition With The Court
The first step of probating a will is to file a petition with the probate court. The executor (if appointed), or the personal representative, or anyone interested can file the petition.
The petition must provide information about the deceased person’s assets, debts, beneficiaries, etc. It also has to include the original will. Once the petition is filed, the court will mail a notice to all heirs and beneficiaries listed in the will. The notice will provide them with an opportunity to contest the will within 30 days.
3. Appoint An Executor (if necessary)
If there is no executor named in the will, or if the named executor cannot fulfill his or her duties for some reason, you may be appointed by the court or by the beneficiaries as an “administrator.” This position works in a similar way as an executor’s but can be more complex. If you want to avoid this additional responsibility, then make sure your loved one has appointed an executor in his or her will.
4. Open A Bank Account For The Estate
Before you can distribute any assets, you first have to open a bank account for the estate. Put the deceased person’s money there so that you can promptly pay their debts and taxes. You also have to cover the funeral expenses from this account.
5. Notify Creditors And Debtors
After an estate bank account has been opened, you have to notify creditors of the deceased person and debtors who might have claims against him or her. You also have to publish notices for these parties in newspapers. This procedure allows creditors and debtors to file their claims within a certain period of time and helps reduce delays associated with collecting debts after death.
6. Get Ready To Distribute Assets
Now that all creditors have filed their claims and debts have been paid, you can distribute assets of the estate according to the terms specified in your loved one’s will. After you’ve done that, you can complete the estate administration by signing your last report with a probate court and getting your final discharge letter from them.
Probate is not a complicated process as long as you make sure that everything is in order, have documents ready, and know your tasks. However, if you have any problems doing that, don’t hesitate to contact a probate attorney and ask for help. While that may cost some money, you will save a lot of time and avoid stress. Moreover, you will have support during this tough time and will be sure that the process will end quickly and successfully.
We hope that our article was helpful and that you will be able to successfully probate a will in six simple steps. Good luck – and we hope the process goes smoothly.