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An Easy Guide to Navigate the Probate Process

Families can help each other through life’s toughest moments. However, issues come up when the strain of losing a loved one combines with the stress of honoring their last wishes.

Probate protects beneficiaries best interests. Though probate is a complex topic, knowing about it will help with estate management and avoiding court time.

Let’s take a look at what families should know about the probate process.

Wait, What is Probate?

When someone dies, probate is the means to total up the assets and debts of the recently deceased. The estate will pay all expenses by the end of the process. Finally, an executor - known as the personal representative - follows the guidance of the deceased person’s will or state law to issue whatever assets are left.

Now let’s get into the probate process.

Notify Beneficiaries and File Papers

When the filing the probate papers, you will need to appoint a personal representative of the last will or name an administrator for the estate. At this point, it is necessary to inform all descendants and beneficiaries of the legal action. It is essential to make this action public to provide ample opportunity for people to challenge the proceedings.

Notify Creditors and Tally Estate Assets

Next, the administrator or personal representative will contact all creditors in writing to precisely define the exact amount owed. Creditors have a small window of time to make a claim.

On the other side, that same individual will create an inventory of all the assets in the estate. Some average assets include property, stocks, companies, and many others. An appraiser will advise the personal representative on the value of items.

The Estate will Settle All Debts

It is up to the representative to verify and pay off creditors, funeral expenses, and any other bills out of the assets of the estate.

The Transfer of the Legal Title

Once the representative pays all bills, it is time for the distribution of assets. At this point, the representative will follow state law or the last will to distribute the remaining assets legally. It may be necessary to establish a trust for individuals who are too young or incapacitated. Once the court verifies the petition, the official transfer of assets begins.

Planning and executing the final wishes of a deceased loved one can be a confusing process. The estate planning process can be smooth when you recruit the attorneys at Aldrich Legal Services. Contact us today to get more information by calling (734) 404-3000.

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