After a loved one passes away, there are many emotional, legal, and financial issues that need to be addressed. Whether or not your loved one had a will when they passed away, their estate may have to go through the probate process. Probate is the process of distributing a decedent’s assets to create a clear and marketable title. Probate also serves as a venue to resolve conflicts involving claims against an estate.
The estate administration process generally takes six to nine months, and there are many steps and legal requirements involved. These include:
- Locating assets
- Identifying and locating beneficiaries
- Accessing bank accounts
- Creating accounts
- Completing inventory
- Distributing assets and paying debts, including taxes
- Filing and publication of notices to creditors and beneficiaries
- Preparing documents for the transfer of real property
- Preparing the accounting of the estate required by the Probate Court
The cost and duration of probate can vary substantially depending on a number of factors such as the value and complexity of the estate, the existence of a Will, and the location of real property owned by the estate. Will contests or disputes with alleged creditors over the debts of the estate can also add significant cost and delay. Common expenses of an estate include executor’s fees, attorney’s fees, accounting fees, court fees, appraisal costs, and surety bonds.
As an experienced probate and estate lawyer, I will ensure that your loved one’s estate is administered properly, whether or not there was a will. Call 218-720-2888 to schedule an initial consultation.