Probate administration is managing and distributing a deceased person’s assets, also known as the “decedent.” This process involves verifying the authenticity of the decedent’s will (if one exists), paying any debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the designated beneficiaries. Probate administration is necessary to ensure that the decedent’s wishes are carried out and that the distribution of their assets is legally valid.
What is probate?
Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a decedent. This includes verifying the authenticity of the decedent’s will, if one exists, and ensuring that the decedent’s debts and taxes are paid. The probate process also involves distributing the decedent’s remaining assets to the designated beneficiaries.
Types Of Probate
There are several types of probate, including court-supervised and independent. Court-supervised probate is overseen by a judge and is typically more formal and time-consuming. Independent probate, on the other hand, is not overseen by a judge and is often faster and less expensive.
Who Is Involved In Probate Administration?
The personal representative, also known as the executor or administrator, is responsible for managing the decedent’s estate during the probate process. They may be named in the decedent’s will or appointed by the court.
Heirs and Beneficiaries
The heirs and beneficiaries are the individuals or organizations entitled to receive a share of the decedent’s assets.
An attorney may be hired to assist with the probate process and ensure it is conducted properly.
What Is The Role Of The Personal Representative?
The personal representative oversees the probate process and carries out the decedent’s wishes as outlined in their will. Some of the duties and responsibilities of the personal representative include:
Gathering the decedent’s assets and inventorying them.
Paying any debts and taxes owed by the decedent.
Distributing the remaining assets to the designated beneficiaries.
Filing any necessary legal documents.
Communicating with the court and other parties involved in the probate process.
To become a personal representative, an individual must be nominated in the decedent’s will or appointed by the court. They must also be at least 18 years old and of sound mind.
The Probate Process
Gathering the decedent’s assets: The personal representative must locate and inventory all of the assets, including any real estate, personal property, and financial accounts.
Paying debts and Taxes
The personal representative must pay any outstanding debts and taxes owed by the decedent. This may include credit card bills, mortgages, and other debts.
Distributing Assets To Beneficiaries
The personal representative must distribute the decedent’s remaining assets to the designated beneficiaries as outlined in the decedent’s will or according to state law.
Closing the Estate
Once all the assets have been distributed and any outstanding debts and taxes have been paid, the personal representative can close the estate.