The probate process is often a bit misunderstood, or at least not fully understood. This can make the whole thing feel a bit more confusing than it actually should, and it can lead to avoidable errors.
To help you avoid such an outcome, let’s take a moment to break down what happens during probate and why it’s important.
What can you expect during the probate process?
The following are five things that occur when someone passes away and their estate moves into probate:
- The deceased’s last will and testament must be authenticated to ensure that it gives the proper legal instructions about what should be done with the estate.
- Executors and personal representatives are identified or appointed. They have special tasks to take on, such as the distribution of assets.
- Any creditors are identified and then notified that the person has passed away. If debts are still owed, they will need to be paid off out of the estate.
- All assets are identified and/or discovered. Ideally, most will be listed in the will, but this is not always the case.
- The value of major assets is determined. After debts are paid, along with taxes, the remaining value is what will be passed on to the next generation.
These are not all of the steps that must be taken, depending on the specifics of the case, but they’re a good place to begin.
Do you know where you stand in the probate process?
If you’re involved in the probate process because a loved one passed away, you need to know exactly what options and rights you have, along with the necessary steps that you must take to adhere to the laws.