Losing a loved one is always a difficult time. In addition to dealing with the grieving process, you may also be tasked with managing your loved one's estate.
If your loved one died without a Will or Trust in place, the estate will likely have to go through probate, which can be a time-consuming and expensive process. In many cases, even those with Wills still need the assistance of the probate court.
Probate is a court-managed process whereby the assets of the deceased are inventoried, managed, and distributed.
The length of time needed to complete probate varies depending on the size and complexity of the estate, but most estates involve the following steps:
1. Filing a petition with the probate court,
2. Appointing an executor or administrator,
3. Notifying creditors of the death and giving them an opportunity to file claims against the estate,
4. Inventorying and appraising the deceased's assets,
5. Paying debts and taxes owed by the deceased and his or her estate, and
6. Distributing the remaining assets to the appropriate beneficiaries.
If you find yourself in the position of having to manage a loved one's estate, it's important to seek out experienced legal help to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
If we can be of assistance please don’t hesitate to call my office.