“Probate” is a court-supervised process of transferring legal title from a person who has died (the “decedent”) to the person’s distributees. Probate is necessary to protect the rights to the probate estate of a decedent’s heirs, devisees, and creditors. An orderly transfer of property is done after estate property and debts are administered.
The decedent’s property is held and managed by the personal representative during the administration of the estate. The personal representative makes distribution of the estate when the probate court approves the transactions made to pay claims and expenses and the proposed distribution schedule.
The earliest that an estate may be closed and distribution made to the heirs or beneficiaries is approximately six months and 10 days after the date of first publication. However, it often takes a year or more to finish the administration.
The following are some of the steps in Probate Administration:
• Hire an attorney to represent you.
• Apply for Letters Testamentary if there is a will admitted (or apply for
Letters of Administration without a will).
• Publish notice to creditors. The date of first publication starts a six-month
period for claimants to submit their claims to the court and the personal
• Inventory and appraise assets.
• Administer the estate and sell property if funds are needed to pay bills.
• Pay debts, claims, taxes, and expenses.
• Prepare a settlement showing income and disbursements.
• Obtain court approval for distribution and close estate.
Getting an estate opened and through probate is a complex and complicated process. Let Legacy Law Center help.