Wills and Probate
If you have been appointed to be the executor of an estate, there are a number of things you will need to do. The article below explains the basics of how to probate an estate. More informative articles, ebooks, and forms on Wills and probate, how to probate an estate, and Last Will And Testament are linked to www.LastWillAndTestamentSite.com.
How To Probate An Estate
Upon a person's death, someone will need to go to the County Courthouse and have the deceased person's estate probated or settled. Every state has an office or Court in each County to handle or probate a deceased person's estate. Whoever goes to the County Courthouse to probate the estate will need to take the deceased person's Last Will And Testament, if there is one, and a death certificate, and turn them over to the Court personnel. Normally, the Court personnel will then tell an executor how to probate an estate.
Having a Last Will And Testament will make probating the estate a great deal easier. The Last Will gives the Court guiedance as to what the deceased person wants done with his or her property and children. Without a Last Will, the Court has to follow state laws. The Court often has to decide between people of equal priority as to who will be the executor of the estate. Further, because the deceased person's wishes are not known, state laws often have more requirements in an attempt to be fair to all heirs.
Whether or not there is a Last Will And Testament, an executor will be named to settle the deceased person's estate. Whomever is named as executor in a Last Will is going to be named the executor of the estate because first priority to be executor is given to the person named in the Last Will. The executor of the estate will have to:
1. Notify any other heirs of what action is being taken;
2. Gather together and account for any property that the deceased person owned;
3. Advertise in the local newspaper for creditors so that the
creditors may file a claim against the estate if the
4. Pay the deceased prson's bills and debts from the estate's assets;
5. Sell property, if there are no assets with which to pay bills and debts;
6. Possibly file an Income Tax return for the deceased persn;
7. See that the rightful heir(s) actually receives the property;
8. File an accounting showing what the executor did with the estate; and
9. Take whatever action that the Court deems appropriate in settling the estate.
In most cases, the Court personnel are good about giving the executor guidance as to what needs to be done and how to probate an estate. Many executors handle estates by themselves without the assistance of a lawyer.
Sometimes, state laws override the wishes expressed in a Last Will And Testament. The Court personnel will inform the executor when this occurs and the executor will have to follow the state laws instead of the Last Will And Testament.
Once the executor has done everything that he or she is required to do by state laws, and the time limits have passed, the executor will be discharged from being executor and the estate will be closed.
The above information is general information only. For specific questions or clarification, contact a lawyer licensed in your state.
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