The passing of a loved one is often unfamiliar territory for many people. However, when you add in the will and probate process, the matter can seem even more overwhelming and confusing. Having a general idea of what to anticipate can help. Learn what you can expect from the probate process.
Researching of the Will
Death doesn't always bring out the best in people. Unfortunately, some people see the passing of a person as an opportunity to take advantage of the situation, which sometimes includes submitting a fake will to the court. To prevent this type of scenario, the first part of the probate process typically involves an exploration into the validity of the will. Wills that were drafted just before the passing of the person, that have an unusual distribution schedule, such as to someone they didn't have a relationship with, or that have incorrect signatures are often red flags.
Naming of the Executor
The court requires that at least one individual serves as an executor of the estate. The executor is the individual that will be responsible for controlling the assets, paying expenses, and distributing property and assets to those named on the will. Generally, a will does include a named executor, but if not, keep in mind, not just any person can be named as an executor. The executor will need to be able to pass a criminal background check and be a person that everyone listed in the will has agreed upon.
Debt Assessment Period
When a person leaves behind assets as part of an estate, their debts and final expenses will need to be paid before the assets can be distributed. During this period, the court will require the executor to collect all the creditor information for these debts and submit them to the court for payment. Once the court approves the debts, the executor will then authorize the payment of these debts.
Spreading of the Estate
The distribution of the estate is the final stage of the probate process, and remember, it can take quite some time to reach this point. So, it's important to be patient. During this process, only the proceeds from the estate that remain after the debts and expenses have been paid will be passed on to the named parties in the will. Once this process if finished, the probate process is complete, and the estate is concerned settled.
Probate is a legal process that protects the wants of your loved one, as well as your entitlement to any of their estate. Speak with a probate attorney or check out sites like https://ivylawgroup.com to learn more about the process and how you can prepare.