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Probate Administration

Get Representation When A Loved One Passes

 

Probate is a long and expensive court-supervised process for transferring the deceased person’s assets to the designated beneficiaries.  It is highly public and can be very emotionally taxing on loved ones as they balance grief with the loss of control during this process. Probate is mandated if you do not have a will and pass away “in testate” and is necessary even if you have a will in place.  The only way to avoid probate is to establish a trust.  Without a trust, your beneficiaries must go through this process. Probate administration is the process of settling and closing an estate through the State’s probate court system.

Probate is a complicated process with the following key steps:
  • File Petition For Probate with the Court – The petition must be filed in the county where the deceased resided.

  • Court Assigns an Initial Hearing Date – The personal representative must appear and provide testimony.    

  • Publish Notice to Administer Estate – Three separate announcements in a local newspaper which states that you will be going into probate for the deceased must be published.  The probate filing public record.

  • Hearing on Probate Petition – The judge will review any existing wills and the personal representative is approved. This is an opportunity for people who believe they are rightful heirs to demand their share.

  • Court Issues Letters of Testamentary – The court provides personal representative full directions on their responsibilities during the probate process and if required, a bond must be secured at this time.

  • Gather Assets, Determine Value, Give Notice to Creditors – Now begins a lengthy process of determining what assets were owned by the deceased.  In many cases, the deceased has assets and, more importantly, debts that loves ones did not know about.  These debts and assets need to be researched and a paper trail uncovered.  Additionally, notice needs to be given to a number of state agencies at this time.

  • File Inventory – Once all the inventory is gathered and appraised and the debt clarified, then this information is filed with the court – all of which is public record.  Anyone can have access to this detail.

  • Settle All Debt – Next all the debt needs to be paid and accounts settled.  You will need to work through which assets are liquid or not and then if given full authority by way of the will, engage in selling real estate.

  • Prepare & File Tax Returns – File tax returns and ensure that all money owed to the government is cleared.

  • Petition for Final Distribution – Finally, once all accounts are cleared, the court is petitioned to get the final assets distributed.

  • Final Court Hearing for Distribution – Assets are finally distributed to rightful heirs and beneficiaries.

 

Unfortunately, probate is a very long process with a lot of road bumps.  We are here to help.  Pandher Law Firm will manage the probate process for you so you can grieve and be with your family during this devastating time.  Our comprehensive intake interviews help organize account and assets, we draft all necessary court documents and filing, schedule court appearances and appear in court so you don’t have to and fully mange the process from start to finish.