Probate Checklist

Are you faced with the probate process but unsure of what it entails?

After the passing of a loved one, you’ll have a lot on your mind. Unfortunately, even while you are grieving, you may need to go through a probate proceeding.

This checklist will help you understand what to expect, how to prepare, and much more.

  1. Locate the original estate plan, including any documents required by the probate court.
  2. Obtain a minimum of 10 death certificates.
  3. Pinpoint the probate court that will handle the process.
  4. Contact beneficiaries to make them aware of the probate proceeding.
  5. File all of the necessary legal documents with the court, including all filing fees.
  6. Locate and manage all assets, including but not limited to real estate and bank accounts.
  7. Open a bank account to handle all payments that are due to the deceased, such as those from an employer.
  8. Continue to pay all expenses as the probate process moves forward.
  9. Take care of any debts that the estate is required to pay.
  10. Notify all creditors of the probate proceeding, as this gives them the opportunity to file a claim for payment.
  11. Calculate estate taxes, if this is required in your state.
  12. File a final income tax report.
  13. Pay fees to the court, attorney (if one is used), and personal representative.
  14. Distribute all property as outlined by the will.
  15. Request that the court formally closes the estate.

Tip: you are not required to hire a probate attorney, but this can help you avoid confusion and mistakes.

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