5 Things To Know When Going Through Probate


Have you been named as the executor of an estate that is going to go through probate? It will help to know the following things before you start the process so that you can have proper expectations. 

Hire A Probate Lawyer 

A mistake that some people make is not hiring a probate lawyer to handle the probate process. They may try to use a family friend that is a lawyer but actually specializes in other aspects of the law. A probate lawyer is going to have experience with this exact process, which will help ensure that everything goes smoothly for you. A probate lawyer will be able to anticipate problems and work on resolutions to speed up the entire probate process. 

Obtain A Certified Death Certificate

One of the first things that you need to start the probate process is a certified death certificate. This is necessary so that you can start to secure assets that belong to the deceased, which you would not be legally allowed to do otherwise. Without the death certificate in hand, you won't really be able to do much. 

Identify All The Assets 

You'll need to determine what assets belong to the estate, which can be a lengthy process. You'll need to find bank accounts, real estate, investments, personal property, and other various other assets that belong to them. The next step will then be to make a list of all these assets and start assigning a value to them. This will help you determine what assets can be used to pay debts, and what can potentially be distributed as an inheritance to the heirs of the estate. 

Notify The Beneficiaries And Creditors

You should next start contacting anybody that the estate owed money to, as well as people that would be considered a beneficiary. Without a will in place, beneficiaries are defined based on who the person's family members are, with there being a hierarchy of who would have a legal claim to an inheritance. 

Pay Off Debts and Distribute Inheritance

You'll need to use assets to pay off debts that are owed by the estate. If there is not enough cash on hand, then assets will need to be sold to pay for those debts. It's crucial that debts are paid off first before an inheritance is given to heirs because you do not know what assets need to be sold in order to pay off those debts. 

Contact a local probate lawyer to learn more. 


21 February 2023

why you need to hire an attorney

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