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             26 October, 2021

Category:  Articles » Finances » Estate-Plan-Trusts


Guide to the Probate Process

         Views: 1776
2008-10-29 08:13:21     
Article by Joseph Devine

The legal process by which the state oversees the distribution of the estate to heirs and confirms all debts paid is known as probate. Probate will occur whether or not the deceased has a will. Probate can be best though of as a collection of rules which guides the transfer of an estate.

The first step of probate is the swearing in of a personal representative. The person also known as an executor will be named in a will. However, if there is not a will the court will select a representative on the individual's behalf. A family member, typically a spouse or adult child, can request they are appointed.

The representative will be issued Letters of Administration or Letters of Testamentary which documents the individual has the power to act on behalf of the estate. He will then be required to take an oath of office. The representative must file a Petition for Probate of Will and Appointment of Personal Representative which begins the probate process.

If there is a will, the court must acknowledge its validity and admit it to probate. Certain wills require the executor to post a bond with the probate court which secures the executor will take good care of the estate.

Certain states require the representative to publish a death notice in a local newspaper. This public notice allows people with interest in the estate such as creditors to file a claim within a specified time period.

The executor is to take inventory of the property so the value can be determined. He is responsible for making sure there is enough money to pay off debts and distribute to beneficiaries as intended. In the event that there are not sufficient funds to cover the costs, the beneficiaries may not receive the amount which was expected.

Generally, payment is made in the following order: estate administration costs, family allowances, funeral expenses, taxes and other debts, remaining claims, and the beneficiaries. If the probate process is followed, the representative has protection from any late-arriving claims.

Timelines are difficult as some probate processes are straightforward and others are very complex. The simplest cases take 3 months, but it can last much longer. If there is property in several states, it might take a couple of years for all matters to be settled.

If you would like more information concerning probate law, visit http://www.probatelawyeraustin.com.

Specialized in: Austin Probate Lawyer - Attorney - Austin Estate Planning - Probate Litigation - Estate Planning - Wills - Trusts - Heirships - Guardianships - Kennon - Slater - Slater And Kennon - Texas - Tx
URL: http://www.probatelawyeraustin.com
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