Determining All Assets
The next step in the probate process is making a total of all the deceased's assets, both inside and outside of the estate. In addition, any creditors that the deceased has outstanding debts with may be able to make a claim on the assets or estate of the deceased. Once this is done, the executor will usually determine if it is valid and pay the required amounts. The executor will also usually file final tax returns.
Identifying Heirs and Other Relatives
The probate court and executor then seek out all possible heirs and other concerned parties, both those listed by the will and those who have not been included.
Distributing the Assets
At this point, the final step is to distribute the assets and the estate of the deceased among the relevant parties. In cases where there is no will and the probate process is administered entirely by the court, this can be a time-consuming and very public process.
Pros and Cons
Many people try to avoid the probate process because of the amount of time it takes. In addition, probate court records are a matter of public record; people with concerns about privacy may take issue with this. But in some cases, probate can be a good thing, especially if there’s any kind of contest in regards to the division or assets.
What should you do during probate?
If you’re worried about the fair and equitable division of assets, you need to talk to an experienced attorney who knows quite a bit about probate and estate planning. Call me today to learn more about the probate process and how you may be able to avoid it or make it as painless as possible.