Skilled Probate Lawyer Serving Navarre and Surrounding Counties
When a relative or loved one has passed away, most likely they will have left behind some property, money, and assets they hoped to be given to family or others listed in a trust or will. Even if a will is not present, those items will be distributed to those beneficiaries who rightfully deserve them. The probate process then begins to allocate these assets and a named executor will assume the role of handling the probate. If no will is present, the state probate court in Navarre handles the rules of the inheritance. With the help of a Navarre probate lawyer, you can trust us to help this process run smoothly and fairly.
Steps to Fulfill the Probate Process
1- Becoming the executor of the account
The first step is making a request in the county in which the deceased person lived. You will then decide if you want to be the official legal executor to represent the estate, then a valid will and death certificate needs to be presented to the court. They will schedule a hearing to approve you as the executor and the probate case will be open and you’ll be ready to represent the case.
2- Giving Notice
Once you’re the executor, it is your responsibility to notify heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors that the estate is in probate. This may also include adding a notice in the newspaper. The estate becomes very public at this time which can be a bit cumbersome because a lot of private information becomes public. A Navarre probate lawyer can help assist you in this process, making sure disputes from family and creditors are reasonable and realistic.
3- Time to Take Inventory
Things such as bank accounts, real estate, stocks and bonds, retirement accounts, and personal belongings such as valuables and collectibles will be gathered at this time. A full inventory needs to happen to appraise all the assets that are subject to the probate process. You will then present them to the court.
4- Collect money owed to the estate or Pay bills
Next, the personal representative handles the bills and debts to the estate, such as paychecks or rent. Once any outstanding bills and debts are reviewed, then it needs to be decided how to pay them. Most of the time the estate assets can cover these debts in full but it may take some digging on the part of the executor. Creditor claims will become a priority if the estate doesn’t cover the assets. Taxes will be another area to look into as well, so the executor needs to file a final income tax return on the actual estate.
5- Asset distribution and Closing the Estate
After all the creditors are paid off, debts are resolved and claims are handled, the distribution of the estate to the heirs and beneficiaries takes place according to the direction in the will. All records and receipts are then given to the court and they will then close the estate and the probate process will be final. Following court evaluations of these items, you will be released from being the executor on the estate.
Hiring a Skilled Navarre Probate Lawyer
All the steps listed above hold minor details to what the full probate process actually looks like. There are many timelines to follow and the importance of having things filled out the proper way in the proper order is essential too.
An attorney can help advise you about your legal duties regarding the estate. You don’t want to miss any crucial steps once you start the process. Doing so may drag the process out and push deadlines to a date that is much further out. At Moorhead Law Group, our probate attorneys have the experience needed to help with this whole process. Contact us for a free consultation.