After the death of a loved one, Maryland family members must take the appropriate steps to settle his or her estate. This means distributing assets as outlined in the will, paying off remaining debts and more. It is also likely that the probate process will be necessary, and a family will find it helpful to prepare for what they can expect from this requirement. If you are the beneficiary of an estate or the executor of a will, knowing how this process works is important.
Probate involves the authentication of a will, payment of remaining debts and distribution of assets to beneficiaries, all under the supervision of a probate court. The executor of the estate oversees this process, and he or she is responsible for meeting requirements at every step. Having an understanding of what to expect from probate may help reduce complications that can cost time and money.
What is going to happen during probate?
The specific things you can expect from probate often depend on the details of the estate and the estate plans. The first thing that will happen is locating the deceased’s will and filing the document with the probate court as soon as possible. This step opens the probate process, and after this, the following will happen:
- The court will appoint someone to act as the executor of the estate if the will does not already designate a specific person.
- There will be a process to ensure the will is authentic and valid.
- The executor will attempt to locate all estate assets, as well as maintain and secure property.
- The executor will notify creditors and pay off any remaining debts.
- The executor will use estate funds to prepare and file necessary tax returns.
After these steps are complete, the executor of the estate will oversee the process of distributing estate assets to designated heirs and beneficiaries.
The role of the executor
The executor plays a critical role in the estate administration process. He or she will benefit from an understanding of the requirements of probate and how to navigate this process as quickly and easily as possible. If you are overseeing the administration of an estate, you may want to learn how you can protect your own interests and the interests of the estate in the event of a dispute or other complications.