If the deceased individual left a will, there should be a named individual who has been appointed to serve as the estate’s executor. This person files a request with the probate court to serve as the executor, and—provided there are no complications—the court will appoint this individual to serve as the personal representative. Once named, the personal representative gathers all of the important documents of the estate and has the value of the estate assessed, and pays off any debts that the deceased individual may still owe. Then, the beneficiaries are contacted and the estate is divided up among them, according to the instructions in the will.
One complication that can arise during probate is when the deceased individual has no will in place. When this happens, the probate court will step in to oversee the appointment of a personal representative, and the distribution of the estate will be handled according to state laws. Should any disputes about the validity of the will arise, or if beneficiaries begin to fight with each other, the court may intervene to resolve these matters.
Probate can be a challenging process, especially if arguments arise. Our experienced probate lawyers are here to help you with any questions you may have about the probate process. We provide assistance to personal representatives who may be unsure about whether they can fulfill their obligations, and we can work with beneficiaries to ensure that the estate is distributed in a fair and equal manner. We encourage you to contact us today to learn more about how we can help you successfully navigate the probate process with confidence.