When a loved one passes away, their property and assets must be distributed according to their will or, if there is no will, according to state law. The process of distributing a deceased person's property is known as probate, and it is the responsibility of an executor or personal representative to oversee this process. In this blog post, we will discuss the process of appointing an executor or personal representative during probate, as well as how a decedent's property becomes a part of the estate.
A petition for probate must be submitted to the competent court as the first step in the probate procedure. If there is no will, the petition may be submitted by the next of kin. The petition is often submitted by the executor or personal representative named in the decedent's will. Next, the petition will be examined by the court, and if it is found to be legitimate, the executor or personal representative will be given letters testamentary (or letters of administration). These letters confer legal authority on the executor or personal representative to act on behalf of the estate.
A significant player in the probate procedure who ensures that the decedent's property is divided in accordance with their desires is known as an executor or personal representative. All of the estate's assets must be located and gathered by the executor or personal representative. This entails informing creditors, paying any unpaid obligations, and submitting any required tax returns. The estate will include any property that is not jointly owned or does not have a named beneficiary.
It's crucial to remember that a decedent's possessions will only join the estate if they weren't given to a beneficiary before their passing. For instance, if the deceased made a will that expressly left a certain item of property to a particular beneficiary, that item would not be included in the estate. The property would, however, form a part of the estate and be distributed to the beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the will or state law if the decedent did not leave a will or if the will did not expressly bequeath it.
Prior to distributing the estate's remaining assets to the beneficiaries, the executor or personal representative must see to it that all debts and taxes are settled. This may entail paying off any outstanding loans, credit card bills, or mortgages. The residual assets of the estate will be dispersed in accordance with the directions in the will or, in the absence of a will, in accordance with state law once all debts and taxes have been settled.
In conclusion, the appointment of an executor or personal representative, who is in charge of finding and gathering the estate's assets, marks the start of the probate procedure. If a beneficiary has not been designated for the decedent's property before the decedent's passing, it will become a part of the estate. The executor or personal representative will also be in charge of settling any outstanding bills and taxes and distributing the estate's residual assets to the beneficiaries in accordance with the terms of the will or applicable state law. It's crucial to speak with and seek legal counsel to ensure the probate procedure is completed correctly.
The Law Office of L.M. Otey can provide the guidance needed to navigate the probate process and ensure everything is done correctly. It's crucial to realize that probate may be a time-consuming and complicated process. We are here to assist in navigating the formalities and paperwork needed to initiate a probate case and select an executor.
The Law Office of L.M. Otey will also assist the executor in understanding their duties and making sure they are carrying them out properly. Additionally, our firm can assist with verifying that all the decedent's assets are properly accounted for and dispersed in accordance with the decedent's intentions, as expressed in the will, or in accordance with state law. Finally, the Law Office of L.M. Otey can aid in settling any disagreements that can arise during the probate procedure, such as disagreements about the division of assets to include legal representations in probate litigation, if necessary.