Probating a Will

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San Antonio Probate Attorney

When a loved one passes away, there is often confusion on how to distribute assets and close an estate. The probating process exists for the orderly transfer of your loved one’s property and to prevent fraud. Before any assets are released, each step of the process must be completed. Daniel Burke can make sure your probate process goes smoothly and help you understand each of the steps the executor goes through.

What Is a Will?

Everyone should have a will. A will tells your loved ones how you would like your property to be handled upon your death. A will makes things much easier on your loved ones after your passing. A will does not take much time to set up and execute, but saves your loved ones a tremendous amount of time and money after you pass. If you would like to discuss the status of your will or change your will, you should contact a trusted probate attorney like Dan Burke.

Probating a Will

When probating your loved one’s will, it can be helpful to contact a probate attorney to discuss all the steps it requires to complete properly. You will need your loved one’s original will or a copy of it. You should also have the contact information for the executor or executrix, who is named in the will and is in charge of carrying out the deceased’s wishes as well as settling any outstanding issues. 

Also, having the names, addresses, and other contact information for all the beneficiaries named in the will is very helpful as well.  With all that information, you should be ready to probate your loved one’s will quickly and easily. Every probate process varies depending on the state you are in, but most probate processes include these steps.

Step #1 File To Begin Probate

The executor of the will must first file a request in the county where the deceased passed away. This petition requests that the executor be given power to start the probate process. Both the valid will and the death certificate are needed at this point. After being approved as the executor, the court will open the probate case and you will be able to act in the deceased person’s stead.

Step #2 Send Notice

All heirs, beneficiaries and creditors must be informed that the estate is in probate.

Step #3 Inventory Assets

All assets that are subject to probate must be collected and presented to the court. This includes bank accounts, retirement accounts, real estate, personal belongings and stocks and bonds.

Step #4 Settle Bills and Debts

The remaining money in the deceased’s name must first go to paying off outstanding debts or bills that haven’t been finalized. A final income tax return should also be filed.

Step #5 Distribute Assets

Once all the debts and bills are paid, you may distribute out the remaining assets to the heirs and beneficiaries as directed by the will.

Step #6 Close The Estate

After distributing all assets you will submit receipts and records of these actions to the courts and request that the estate be closed – relinquishing your role as executor.

Probating Without a Will

When your loved one did not have a will but still owned property, whether real or personal property, you may need a heirship proceeding. In an heirship proceeding, the court determines who your loved one’s heirs are and what property each heir should receive. Depending on the circumstances, heirship proceedings can become complicated.

If your loved one has passed on without a will, you should contact Dan Burke.