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