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Understanding the probate process

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2023 | Estate Planning

A person can create a will that outlines their wishes for how their property is managed after their death.

The probate process is the procedure through which a deceased person’s estate is settled and their assets are distributed to beneficiaries. If the deceased person had debts, those are also settled through this process.

Probate overview

The probate process begins when the executor of the estate files an application for probate in the county where the deceased person lived. The court will review the application and, if approved, will admit the will to probate. The executor of the estate may be a person that is listed in the will or they may be appointed by the court.

The executor is responsible for managing the estate during the probate process. This includes collecting income, paying expenses like taxes and mortgage payments and protecting the estate assets until they are distributed.

The executor must also prepare an inventory of the deceased person’s assets, including real estate, personal property, and bank accounts. This document provides an explanation of the estate’s value.

The executor will review any creditor claims and pay debts using estate assets.  After debts and claims have been resolved, the executor can distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the will.

Closing the estate

Once all debts are paid and the assets are distributed, the executor can file a final account and report with the court. The court will then issue an order to close the estate.

The probate process can be complex and lengthy. However, it’s important that it is completed correctly. There is support available for those who need help.