Probate includes a process where debt settlement of the decedent takes place. The beneficiaries and heirs get the property as mentioned in the will. In simple terms, this is an official process of proving a will as decedent’s last testament. The whole process is done to complete the administration of the decedent’s estate only after death. Now, one might find it tough and tries to avoid the process.
In this case, only an attorney can guide you in the right way. Choosing the right attorney, in this case, is of utmost benefit as they can simplify the process for you. Most of the responsibilities are on them. This includes collecting and reviewing the assets, important court report preparation, and creating an inventory of the estate’s assets.
Additionally, appointing a legal lawyer can provide you with advice about the administrator’s responsibilities and duties. They also guide you in creating a perfect distribution plan for the assets. However, before discussing the role of an attorney in this process, it is necessary to know about the process in detail.
4 Fundamental Steps of Probate:
A long time before a person’s death, he or she finalizes the procedure. This particular process is also determined on the basis of whether the deceased person has any prior estate planning or not. Only after knowing this you will be able to simplify the process. Now, let us know the four basic steps of probate.
Providing notice to the beneficiaries and heirs and filing a petition.
The process starts by filing a petition to the probate courts for:
- Declaring the will and appointing an executor
- In case there is no will, the estate has to appoint an administrator
Whenever there is a court hearing for the petition, a notice has to be provided by the decedent’s beneficiaries and heirs. Now, if any of the beneficiary or heir has any objection regarding the petition, they can present it to the court. The hearing is also published in any of the local newspapers. Doing so helps to notify other unknown creditors of the deceased person.
The personal representative will provide notice to creditors as per the appointment by the court.
On the basis of the state law, the personal representative provides the known creditors with a written notice. Now, if any of the creditors want to claim any assets of the estate can do within a certain period of time. An inventory is taken of the decedent’s property. This includes bonds, stocks, business interests, etc. of all of the decedent’s probate property, including real property, stocks, bonds, business interests, among other assets, is take.
Estate is responsible for paying all the debts, funeral expenses, and taxes.
It is the responsibility of the personal representative to determine the legitimate person for the creditor’s and the pay all those from the estate. There are instances where the personal representative can sell the assets of the estate to fulfill the obligations of the deceased person.
There is no will – the legal title mentioned in the property transfers as per the law of intestacy
The personal representative appeals to the court for transferring the remaining assets to the beneficiaries, as mentioned in the last will of the decedent’s testament. Suppose the will has a mention about the trust, which is to benefit the minor. Then the trustee will receive the money. After the petition gets acceptance, the personal representative can present a new deed for liquidating assets, property, and transfer stock for the desired recipients.
How can an Probate attorney help in simplifying the process?
A legal attorney can guide you best in two ways. Foremost, an attorney can suggest you regarding estate planning of an individual, which will help you to avoid future administration issues before the death. Second, after the death of any particular, a lawyer can guide best with the administration of their estate.
Besides, an attorney also provides advice for fiduciary obligations presented by the personal representative or executor of an estate. You can create a complete inventory of the estate’s assets by a lawyer’s guidance. Some of the other roles of an inventory include the legal evaluation of enforceable debts of the estate, distribution plans, etc.
Hence, without fearing the completion of the probate process, you can hire an expert attorney to simplify your task. An experienced attorney is well aware of the process steps and can guide you with the best advice. Going through this article will also provide you a vivid idea about the role of an attorney in this process.