When a loved one passes away, their estate needs to go through the probate process. If you were named the estate administrator, you are in charge of overseeing this process. As such, you may feel overwhelmed or unsure of where to begin. If this reflects your situation, it’s essential to keep reading to discover what you can do to prepare for probate upon the death of a loved one. You’ll also learn how a probate lawyer in Pasco County, FL can assist you through this often complex process.
What Is Probate?
If you are the administrator of an estate, the estate will likely endure the probate process. Essentially, this means that the courts will examine the will of the deceased to authenticate it. As such, the courts must inspect and assess all assets. While not all estates go through probate, many do, making it a standard process.
In the event that someone passes away without a will, meaning their estate is intestate, the courts make decisions regarding the distribution of assets in the estate. Because there are no named beneficiaries, the court will follow the intestate line of succession when diving assets.
What Can I Do to Prepare for Probate?
If you are the administrator of an estate, taking the necessary steps to help you prepare for probate can make the process go much more smoothly.
The most important thing you must do is first gather all the necessary paperwork. This includes the deceased’s estate planning documents, like wills or trusts, as well as financial documents. These include insurance policies, mortgages, loans and any banking information. You’ll also need to obtain copies of their death certificate. Be sure to request multiple, as you must file one with the courts.
After gathering the necessary documents, you’ll need to begin notifying the beneficiaries and creditors of the deceased’s passing. Once you have notified the parties, you can start taking inventory of the estate’s assets. You’ll want to gather information about any financial investments, accounts, real estate property and insurance policies. If there are valuable, such as jewelry or antique furniture in their estate, you should get this appraised.
Finally, it’s in your best interest to enlist the assistance of an experienced attorney. It’s no secret that the probate process is often overwhelming and confusing for many. As such, a lawyer will be able to help you navigate any complexities or challenges you may face.
At the Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna, our dedicated legal team has the necessary experience to guide you through the probate process. We understand being tasked with this responsibility can be challenging, especially if you are mourning the loss of the deceased. As such, we will do everything possible to make the process as smooth as possible. Contact us today to learn how we can help you through this time.