What to Expect in Probate Court

What Happens During the Probate Process?

For many, attending probate court comes at a time of emotional strife and stress. That stress can be alleviated somewhat by knowing what to expect when you step into the court.

There are several things that happen in probate court. If the deceased person has undergone estate planning and has prepared a will, then the court will authenticate the will. Should the person’s will not specify who is to be the executor of the estate, the court may assign a person. This person is usually a spouse or, lacking that option, an adult offspring of the deceased.

In addition, a probate court will also alert creditors of the person’s death and schedule payment of any outstanding debts. There are other tasks a probate court will deal with as well, such as paying taxes or filing tax returns, and distributing the estate.

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During the process of authenticating the will, the court will give concerned parties the opportunity to object to the will. This could happen when a person feels the will is not drafted properly or if someone has in their possession a more recent will.

Another task assigned by the probate court, and carried out by the executor, is to track down all of the deceased person’s assets. Once located, they are to take possession of the assets to protect them during the probate process. This can sometimes involve a bit of digging, as there may be assets that have remained secret, either on purpose or simply because the person never mentioned them. Finding these items is usually done by having a look at insurance policies and tax returns.

Hire an Attorney to Help You With the Probate Process

When it comes to real estate, protection doesn’t mean physically defending the property. Rather, it refers to ensuring all taxes and bills are paid and that insurance payments are maintained.

It’s never too early for estate planning. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.