Probate Process: How the Will is Probated

After an individual passes away, their estate will likely go through the probate process. Understanding how this process works can help you avoid any confusion or problems along the way. If an individual had a will whenever they pass away, they should have appointed an executor to take care of the estate whenever they passed away. It is up to the executor to come to the probate court and initiate the process of completing probate. The executor must provide the probate court with a copy of the will on behalf of the individual.

Collection and Inventory

It is up to the executor of the estate to collect and inventory all of the assets that were owned by the deceased. The executor has to go through all of the individual financial accounts and document their balances. They also have to go through personal property and make a list of it as well. The executor needs to arrange an appraisal for any real estate, or for collectibles that need to be valued. During this process, the executor has to come up with an approximate value of the total estate. Many times, the executor will open an estate checking account that they can transfer all of the different balances from their accounts into. This way, the executor will be able to write checks to pay for any bills that were outstanding for the deceased individual.

Paying Debts

It is up to the executor of the estate to handle paying any outstanding debts that were still present at the time of death. The executor will also file an official notice in the newspaper to notify potential creditors that this person has passed away. The debts of the estate have to be paid before any money can be distributed to beneficiaries. Therefore, the executor is going to have to write checks to all of the creditors at this time. The executor will also be in charge of filing a tax return for the deceased individual and paying any outstanding taxes that are due. 

The executor may also be in charge of paying for any of the final expenses for the deceased individual. They will pay for the funeral costs, cremation, or any other expenses that were incurred.

Transfer of Assets

Once all of the creditors of the estate have been paid correctly, the executor can then begin to transfer assets to the beneficiaries of the estate. During this part of the process, the executor has to pay special attention to the will and the wishes of the deceased person. The executor might make a cash payment to the beneficiaries after selling some of the property from the estate. They also might decide to give some of the physical property to the beneficiaries. Many times, the deceased person will have specified how they want to pass their assets onto their loved ones.

blog comments powered by Disqus