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What can you expect from the probate process?

| Feb 11, 2021 | Probate

Most people are not familiar with the process required in order to settle a Maryland estate. If you are trying to settle a loved one’s estate or want to know what is involved with that process, you need to know about probate. This is the legal procedure of paying debts, closing accounts, distributing assets and resolving any remaining financial matters connected with the estate.

Probate is the process of legally authenticating a will under the supervision of a court. This involves everything from paying remaining debts to making sure assets distribute to the heirs of the estate according to the terms of the will. It can be a lengthy and complex process, and disputes can make it an even longer process to complete and finalize.

Settling an estate

When an individual dies without a will, the probate process will be a requirement. Even in situations where there is a will, the probate process is a requirement to authenticate the will and resolve other outstanding matters. If you are unsure of what to expect, you may find the following helpful as you seek to understand more about this legal process:

  • After a person dies, the individual with his or her will should file it with probate court as quickly as possible.
  • The judge will appoint someone to act as executor of the estate, sometimes specifically designated in the terms of the decedent’s will.
  • The executor will then locate all of the assets associated with the estate and begin the process of valuing them.
  • The executor of the estate should then notify creditors in order to pay off any remaining balances owed by the decedent.
  • After paying debts, the executor will prepare and file taxes on behalf of the decedent.
  • Once these steps are complete, the executor can oversee the process of distributing assets according to the terms of the decedent’s will.

Settling an estate can be a complicated process, but an executor and family does not have to walk through this process alone. Knowing what to expect from probate can reduce the chance of complications, saving valuable time and money for a family that is ready to settle the estate of a loved one. This is especially true in situations where there may be contention or disputes over the terms of the will.