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"BEYOND PROMISES TO RESULTS"
The death of a loved one can take an enormous toll on us
mentally, emotionally, and even physically.
What’s just as daunting is that death not an event that we usually
prepare for or even choose to consider; therefore, most people are ill-prepared to deal with all of the paperwork, legal issues, and planning that
must be addressed. For example, if I
asked the average person what steps need to be taken to settle an inherited
estate, most people wouldn’t even know where to start.
Unfortunately, death is a part of life and ignoring its inevitability
doesn’t prevent it. It just leaves us
uninformed on how to proceed when it finally occurs. Probate is a very extensive process, but I have included a few basics that may help.
WHAT IS AN ESTATE?
An estate consists of any real and personal property owned at
the time of death. Real property includes land, improvements located on the
land, gas, and any mineral interests. Personal property includes cash, bank accounts, clothing and personal
effects, household furnishings, motor vehicles, stocks and bonds, and life
WHAT IS PROBATE?
Probate is the process the court takes to conclude all legal
and financial matters after death. Essentially, probate is the process by which
a court distributes an estate to claims by heirs, creditors, etc.
WAS THERE A WILL?
If there is a will, the estate is said to be Testate and the
process should be little more efficient.
THE WILL should direct how the estate’s assets are to be distributed,
designate heirs, and name the Executor that will control the estate and ensure THE WILL is carried to fruition.
If there is no will, the estate is said to be Intestate and
the court may be more involved. The estate will remain dormant until someone
steps forward as a potential administrator and initiates probate. If the estate is unclaimed for too long, the
assets can es-cheat to the state.
HOW DO YOU START THE PROCESS?
The first step is for the Named Executor or Potential
Administrator to file the Petition for Probate with the County where the
Deceased held primary residence.
The Death of a Loved One combined with handling their
affairs can seem like an insurmountable task.
As a designated Certified Probate Estate Specialist, I have the experience
and training to help you navigate the complicated process of settling an estate
and liquidating its real property.