Probate is an unavoidable process for authenticating the last will and testament after someone passes away. If you are overseeing the distribution of a loved one’s estate, then it’s important that you know what to expect in the upcoming stages of probate.
This process can be time-consuming and burdensome, especially if you don’t have legal support. Since probate laws manage how an estate is handled after someone passes away, it’s smart to hire a probate attorney for assistance. This investment ensures that the estate is protected as much as possible.
Overview of the Probate Process
Here is an overview of the common steps followed through the probate process. Your attorney can offer more insights into each step:
· Authentication: The person’s last will and testament is authenticated. This process is completed by relying on the testimony of witnesses – often the people who were present when the will was signed.
· Representative: An executor is appointed to oversee the probate process. This person is authorized to act on behalf of the state.
· Posting Bond: This bond is a reassurance that the estate will be reimbursed if a mistake is made by the executor.
· Assets: Next, it’s time to locate the person’s assets. These assets need to be protected during the probate process.
· Valuation: After the assets are located, then values are determined for each item.
· Creditors: It’s common for a person to have outstanding balances, so creditors are notified of the person’s death and the probate process.
· Debts: These debts are paid with money from the estate. All bills need to be paid, including those that were incurred in the final illness.
· Taxes: Even after a person has died, it is necessary to prepare and file tax returns. This tax preparation includes both income taxes and potential liabilities for estate taxes.
· Distribution: After the above administrative work is complete, then it is time to distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.
As you can see, probate can be complicated without professional support. If you are facing probate, or you need help with estate planning, then Miles & Hatcher, LLP is just a phone call away. Call our team to learn about available services and schedule a free consultation: (909) 481-4080.