Probate is a process of legally proving a will and it can be difficult and stressful for individuals to go through. Those who are facing probate because of the loss of a loved one are urged to learn all they can about the process and how they can get help from a Probate Lawyer in Bainbridge Island. Legal help makes the process much easier to endure.
Steps Involved in Probate
There are many steps involved in the probate process and understanding these is vital for individuals who will be going through the process. When an individual hires a Probate Lawyer in Bainbridge Island. the lawyer takes over every aspect of the process, making things much easier for their client. The following are the steps involved:
- The will must be authenticated by the judge. The judge will determine if the will is the last will that was signed by the deceased. If other wills are found, they can be brought before the court as evidence.
- The judge will appoint a representative of the estate. If a will was in place, the deceased will typically have named the party they wish to be the executor. If no will was in place, the judge will make the decision. The court will typically appoint the next of kin as the personal representative of the estate.
- The representative is responsible for locating and protecting all of the assets the deceased owned.
- The date values of death will be determined.
- All creditors will be informed of the death of the debtor.
- All debts will be paid by the representative of the estate.
- All taxes must be settled, including those that may result from an inheritance tax placed on the estate.
- Once all of the above steps have been carried out, the representative of the estate can petition the court to gain permission to distribute what is left of the deceased’s property to the beneficiaries named in the will.
Hiring a Lawyer Is Important
A lawyer can help with each of the steps so the probate process is not lengthy. With the help of a lawyer, these steps will be much easier to perform so the deceased’s estate can be settled as quickly as possible.