When someone is involved in the settlement of an estate, they’re likely to ask questions about the probate process. Probate determines how a person’s assets are distributed after they pass away, and in most cases, the estate executor handles the process. While cases vary, probate law typically requires these steps.
Filing a Probate Petition
The estate executor must file the request in the county where the deceased lived prior to death. The paperwork asks that the executor is legally acknowledged as an estate representative. Along with the petition, the executor must file a will and a death certificate. If the executor is approved, the court officially opens the case, and the person can act on the estate’s behalf.
Give Proper Notice
Next, the estate executor must mail notices of probate to all beneficiaries, heirs, and creditors as required by law. Some jurisdictions may also require the publishing of a notice in the local newspaper.
Take Stock of Assets
Assemble, assess, and appraise assets that are to be presented to the court, such as those listed below.
• Retirement accounts
• Bank accounts
• Real estate
• Personal effects
Probate Lawyers in South Windsor CT can help estate executors make an accurate list of the deceased’s assets.
The next step is to collect funds owed to the person’s estate, such as outstanding rent and paychecks. Also, the representative should review debts and decide how/when to pay them. This part of the process can be lengthy, but it ensures that the estate’s assets are sufficient to cover all debts. An attorney can help a client set up an account specifically to pay estate expenses.
With all expenses, debts, and claims paid, the executor distributes the remaining assets to the rightful beneficiaries as dictated in the deceased person’s will. This step is relatively straightforward, but it still helps to have an attorney.
Finalize the Estate
Once assets are distributed, the executor submits the appropriate records to the court and asks that the estate is closed. At that time, the client is released from his or her role as estate executor.
Is it Necessary to Hire a Lawyer?
If a potential executor needs guidance during the process, Probate Lawyers in South Windsor CT can help. These attorneys have significant experience helping clients settle estates. Call Kahan Kerensky and Capossela LLP for more details or to schedule an initial consultation.