Simsbury Probate Lawyer
Probate administration is the official proving of a will in court, and it is usually carried out by an experienced probate lawyer. While not all wills must be probated—very small estates do not have to go through full probate—most do, and various probate steps must be completed in order before any assets can be distributed among heirs. While it is possible to administer probate yourself, as the executor or administrator to your loved one’s estate, it is highly recommended that you work with an attorney. Probate is complicated, confusing, and takes countless hours of focused paperwork, petitioning, filling, and document gathering to complete. The Simsbury probate administration lawyer at The Law Office of Brian S. Karpe do everything from helping you locate the will and petitioning the court, to paying heirs and providing the final report to the court.
The Seven Probate Administration Steps All Executors or Estate Administrators Need to Follow
- Locate the will and petition the court to probate the will.
- Receive confirmation and authority from the probate court to act on behalf of the estate in a fiduciary duty.
- Locate, inventory, and assign accurate value to all estate assets. Estate assets include everything owned by the decedent, including credit accounts, savings accounts, retirement funds, mutual funds, 401(k) accounts, real estate property, vehicles, home goods, and more.
- Pay off debts and taxes, if applicable.
- Notify creditors and beneficiaries of probate. The executor or probate administration attorney must give notice so that creditors or beneficiaries who object to the will or the way that assets are to be distributed have time to file a claim against the estate. Failure to do so can result in personal liability of the executor or estate administrator.
- Distribute all remaining assets to the appropriate beneficiaries.
- Notify the probate court that assets have been distributed and all other matters have been resolved by issuing a final report and account.
Only after the final step is the executor to the will absolved from their fiduciary duties to the estate. Unfortunately, a lot can go wrong in the six months to a year that it takes most wills to pass through probate. Creditors with invalid claims may demand payment, assets can be difficult to find or assign value to, disgruntled heirs may point accusatory fingers at one another and demand additional property from the estate. For these reasons, it is important to work with an experienced probate administrator.
Call a Simsbury Probate Lawyer at Your Soonest Convenience
Even if you do have the time necessary to devote to the probate process, as the executor to the estate it is still strongly encouraged that you reach out for legal guidance. With so much on the line, including your own finances due to the fiduciary liability that you incur as executor, handling probate administration on your own is a difficult, risky task. To speak to an experienced and highly knowledgeable Simsbury probate administration lawyer, call The Law Office of Brian S. Karpe today at 860-217-1458.