The process of probating a will may initially seem overwhelming; however, it’s a straightforward process and we can guide you every step of the way! Here is the basic outline of the necessary steps when we assist a client with probate of a will:
- In the case where there is a will, probate is opened with an application filed with the Court. A hearing will be scheduled where the proposed executor or applicant will be asked questions regarding the will and the death of the decedent. Once the will is proved to the satisfaction of the Court, the Court will sign an order admitting the will to probate and allow you to serve as the Executor, obtain letters testamentary band administer the estate. You will sign an oath as executor, along with the Proof of Death affidavit. We will order copies of the court documents and the Letters Testamentary, which will allow you to transact business for the deceased.
- We will cause for a Notice to Creditors to be published in the newspaper so that creditors may present claims against the estate.
- You must ensure that all beneficiaries of the estate will be notified formally or they may choose to waive formal service.
- You will prepare an inventory of the estate, including debts and claims owed; this inventory is to be given to all beneficiaries.
- Estate tax must be paid if necessary; taxes must be filed annually until the estate is fully administered.
- You transfer assets of the estate to their beneficiaries. Generally speaking, you are required to open a new bank account for the estate in order to pay debts and distribute assets. This bank account will be opened in the name of the estate using a new taxpayer identification number.
Once these steps are complete, the estate is considered fully administered and your job as executor is done. We are happy to assist with all the legal work needed to administer the estate.