When navigating probate with a valid will, several key steps typically occur:

Filing the Will with the Probate Court: The executor named in the will, or another interested party, files the will with the probate court in the jurisdiction where the deceased resided.

Appointment of Executor: The court reviews the will to ensure its validity and appoints the executor named in the will. If no executor is named or willing to serve, the court appoints an administrator to handle the estate.

Notification of Beneficiaries and Creditors: The executor notifies beneficiaries named in the will and any known creditors of the deceased’s passing and the probate proceedings.

Inventory and Appraisal of Assets: The executor compiles an inventory of the deceased’s assets, including real estate, investments, personal property, and debts. Some jurisdictions require assets to be appraised by a professional appraiser.

Payment of Debts and Taxes: The executor uses estate funds to settle outstanding debts, including funeral expenses, taxes, and outstanding bills. This may involve selling assets if necessary.

Distribution of Assets to Beneficiaries: After settling debts and taxes, the executor distributes remaining assets to beneficiaries according to the terms outlined in the will.

Final Accounting and Closing the Estate: The executor provides a final accounting of the estate’s financial transactions to the probate court. Once the court approves the accounting and all requirements are met, the estate is closed, and the executor is discharged of their duties.

Throughout the probate process, the executor must adhere to state laws and court procedures, acting in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries. Consulting with legal professionals experienced in probate matters can provide invaluable guidance and ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Contact us at Hello@TheHighlandCompanyRE.com for assistance.