If a person dies after having made their last wishes known by leaving a will they are said to have died “testate.” Legally however, the will must undergo the process of probate before it is officially recognized as being valid.
One of the objectives of the probate process is to make sure that the will is administered properly. The law requires that all debts and unpaid taxes be reconciled before any assets can be distributed to the heirs mentioned in the will.
Probate is conducted in a state court of law. The executor of the estate in question will be required to take an “oath of office” before he can legally proceed as the personal representative of the deceased. Once he has been declared so and received his “letters of administration” documentation the executor can then file the petition and the probate process can begin.
Some state laws demand that the details of a will in probate be made public knowledge so that any creditors or disputers have the opportunity to come forward with their challenges. Publicizing the will is also a means of informing the heirs of the death and the fact that the will is being processed.
The next step in the process is to inventory the property of the deceased. It will be the responsibility of the executor of the estate to determine that its value can measure up to the stipulations of the will. When drawing up your will your attorney will advise that you provide an up-to-date list of all your assets to be used by your executor specifically for this purpose.
Whether your will is basically evident or especially if it is more complex, you will need the advice and guidance of an estate attorney. If you own property for instance, that is located out of the state’s jurisdiction where you live you will need to go through a separate probate process in the other state.
Contact the firm of Parker Lawyers located in Parker. Co. for experienced counseling in all areas of estate planning. Call the offices @ 303-841-9525.