Probate is a process that takes place after a property owner dies. The goal of probate is to ensure that the deceased person’s property gets distributed according to their will. The probate process can be complicated, so there are a number of things you need to know about it.
How does probate begin?
Probate involves the appointment of a personal representative to administer the estate. This person is responsible for organizing and inventorying the assets, paying any debts and taxes owed and distributing what’s left to the beneficiaries.
What are the steps in probate?
There are several steps involved in the probate process, which can vary depending on the case. However, some of the most common steps include:
- Filing a will with the court. This document states who is to receive the deceased person’s assets. If the deceased did not leave a will, the court may appoint an administrator to distribute the assets according to state law.
- Notifying all interested parties of the death and the pending wills and probate proceedings. This includes notifying creditors, banks and other institutions with which the deceased had dealings.
- Gathering and inventorying the assets of the estate. This includes both tangible assets, such as property and money, and intangible assets, such as copyrights or life insurance policies.
- Paying any debts and taxes owed by the estate. This may include funeral expenses, medical bills and estate taxes.
- Distributing the assets of the estate to the beneficiaries listed in the will. If there are no beneficiaries named in the will, state law will determine who receives the assets.
If you’re thinking about estate planning, it’s important to understand the probate process and how it will affect your loved ones. Make sure you leave a clear and concise will to help make the probate process as smooth and easy as possible for your loved ones.