What is the Process of Probate?

Creating a plan for an estate is a very important thing for an individual to do in their life. It allows them to plan for what happens to the estate when their life is over. A big part of administering an estate after a person dies is the process of probate. Probate works to decide whether or not an individual’s will is a valid document. It also determines the value of their assets in addition to any outstanding debts or taxes that must still be paid. When an individual passes away, there is a chance they may have an estate to be administered and a will that has to go through probate. It is important to speak with an experienced attorney if you are handling the estate administration process.

Filing a Will to Probate

When a person creates an estate plan, they typically appoint an executor to take care of the administrative process. To begin, the executor must file the person’s will in the Surrogate Court where the individual lived. This requires the executor to provide the court with the death certificate, the probate petition, and any other documents that may be necessary. After the will is filed, any beneficiaries of the estate receive notice of where the probate will occur.

Probate is the process of establishing an individual’s will as valid or not. When a will is created, there are guidelines that must be followed in order for it to be legal. The guidelines require the individual writing the will to be of sound mind while they sign the document in front of witnesses, without being coerced into doing so. If the requirements are not met, the will may not pass probate. If the Surrogate Court determines the will as valid, the administration process can continue.

Closing an Estate

After a will passes probate, the executor is able to continue their remaining responsibilities. This may include that they pay off any debts or taxes, resolve contests to the will, and distribute all assets to the correct beneficiaries. When the court sees the executor completed their job, the process can end and the estate can close.

Contact our Firm

If you have been assigned as an executor and are required to take care of an estate, contact JD Katz, Attorneys at Law today.

The attorneys at JD Katz have years of experience compassionately guiding clients in Maryland through the estate planning and administration process. Our firm also has experience with matters of elder law, business law, tax law, and litigation. For a legal team that will put your needs first, contact JD Katz today.