Over the last few days, we have looked at what to do after a loved one passes away. On Monday, we looked at the immediate steps to take, including ensuring the safety and security of the people, pets, and possessions that the decedent (i.e. the person who passed away) left behind. Yesterday, we looked at other important steps to take, including searching for a Will and making a list of the decedent’s assets and liabilities.
Today, we’ll look at how to probate the decedent’s estate in the courts:
The probate process is an important final step in wrapping up a decedent’s estate. It allows the court to ensure that all creditors are paid, that all assets are secure, and that the people or entities listed in the Will receive the correct distributions of property or money. Likewise, if the decedent did not have a Will, the Judge will have to determine who the legal “heirs” are (which is determined by referring to state law) and sign a Court Order that will give the decedent’s property to those heirs.
This can be a confusing process, but here are answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions we receive about probate.
It is important to make sure that you have a good Probate Attorney who can walk you through this process. Not all attorneys practice in this area, so you’ll want to make sure to select someone who regularly handles these types of cases.
The probate process will be the last major step you’ll take in most situations to wrap up the decedent’s estate. While every case is unique, the probate process typically takes anywhere from 6-12 months to complete.
We hope this series has been helpful to you and answered some of your questions. If you have further questions about probate law, or need to speak to a Probate Attorney, give us a call at 214-236-2712. Or, you can click here for more information.