If you have a family member who has passed away, you may need to go through probate. This will finish up their life and close any loose endings. Below is information about what probate is as well as what you have to do to go through the process.
Probate is the process of gathering your family member's assets. Once you have these, probate will then determine if your family member owed any debts or taxes. If so, these things will be paid for from the assets. Once this is finished, the assets can then be distributed to family members according to your family member's will.
If your family is not fighting at all over your family member's assets, probate is an easy process to go through. This is because it involves filling out paperwork and giving the court the paperwork. If your family is fighting, however, you will need to contact a probate lawyer to assist you.
The first thing you must do is to go to probate court to make the executor of the probate. This may be you or someone else you trust. You will have to file the family member's death certificate as proof that they have passed away. You will also have to file your family member's will. You have to fill out a petition that contains information like the date your family member died, names of beneficiaries that are named in your family member's will, and other surviving family members' names.
A hearing is set up, which is a way to give your family members a right to object to you being named executor. You also have to send legal notice to all beneficiaries who are named in your family member's will as well as send notices to all creditors that you are aware of that your family members owed money to. In most cases, you will not have to attend this hearing unless there are objections from family members.
The court will ask you to submit your family member's will so that the judge can deem the will valid. This validity can come from witnesses, such as the person who was there when the will was notarized. Once everything is finished and approved, you can then take steps to pay off debt and distribute assets to family members.
If you are having problems with the probate process, hire a probate attorney. This type of attorney can make the process go much more quickly, which will make it easier on you as well as your family members.