The Probate Process In A Nutshell

The process, by which a decedent’s estate is administered, is commonly known as “Probate”. It helps to settle the debts of decedents and legal title is given to the property of the decedent. It prevents the property from getting distributed among heirs and beneficiaries.

The probate process begins only if a decedent had a will and had a property subject to probate. It starts when the will is presented by the executor for probate. It should be presented in the courthouse in that country where the decedent owned property or lived. In case there is no will, the court should be asked to appoint someone as administrator of the decedent’s estate. Often such an administrator becomes an adult child or spouse of the decedent. Once the legal court appoints, the executor becomes the legal representative of the estate for continuing probate process.

The Four Basics Steps to Probate

File a petition and give notice to heirs and beneficiaries

The probate process starts with the petition filing with the court either to appoint an executor or to appoint an administrator of the estate, if there is no will. All the beneficiaries and heirs of the decedent must be provided to with a notice of the court hearing about the petition. If any beneficiary or heir raises any objection to the petition, he has the option to do so in the court. Generally, the local newspaper publishes the notice of hearing. In this way, the unknown creditors of the decedent get notified of the starting of the proceeding.

Following appointment by the court, all the known creditors of the estate must be given notice by the personal representative.

Based upon the state law, all the creditors of the estate should be given written notice by the personal representative. If any creditor wants to lodge a claim regarding assets of the estate can do so but within a particular period of time. All the probate property of the decedent is taken that includes bonds, business interests, real property, stocks and other assets.

All estate and taxes, debts and funnel expenses must be paid

It is determined by the personal representative that which creditor’s claims are legitimate and pay those from the estate. In some cases, a personal representative gets the permission to sell assets of the estate for satisfying decedent’s obligations.