When someone passes away with (or without) a will, their assets pass through probate. Probate can be complex, especially when someone contests a will. Anyone can find themselves tied into the probate process, and under some scenarios, family members may be at odds with one another during this highly emotional time. Wills are excellent estate planning tools, allowing you to designate who will receive your assets when you are gone. The probate courts oversee this process, but they have several other duties before your assets are retitled to your heirs.
- A personal representative will be appointed (which can be designated in a will)
- Assets will be identified
- The will gets validated (to ensure it is legal)
- Creditors will be notified
- The deceased creditors will be reimbursed
Depending on the degree of estate planning conducted by the deceased, you may be unable to access accounts, find critical documents, or face a series of creditors who expect to be reimbursed by the estate. Laurent Law Office can guide you through the legal process and provide critical legal advice throughout.
Even after you understand the larger purpose of the estate administration, there may still be a need for valuing assets, notifying creditors appropriately, paying them, and even applying for a federal tax ID number for the estate. Being a personal representative of an estate, sometimes called an executor, is an immense responsibility. You have a fiduciary duty to the deceased, the estate, and its heirs. Our office will guide you from the onset and assist you until the probate process concludes.