For removing the complexity of the probate process, proper planning is essential. It is the process of transferring the properties of the deceased to his/her beneficiaries through an executor or a personal representative. Framing the probation process planning well, will end the reason to fear any mishaps in the long run. A properly planned probation process eases the burden of the executor or the personal representative.
It is a long and complicated process, giving the executors a hard time to execute it properly. To avoid this complexity, executors are framing a proper plan to implement this process smoothly without getting confused in the middle. The executor should execute the probation process by completing all the tasks step-by-step. This eases the burden of the executor and guarantees a properly executed probation process.;
The probate plan should have a framework, and the executor should follow the steps mentioned in the framework and avoid deviating from that to ensure proper execution of the process.
The steps the executor should follow are:-
- Filing Probate Petition
Initially, the executor must file a petition in the probate court to request the court to start the probate process. The court will verify the authenticity of the will before giving the approval to initiate this process.
If the deceased had not made a will, then his/her heirs or relatives will file the petition for initiating the probation process. In this case, the court appoints a personal representative who fulfils the responsibilities of the executor.
- Probate Notice to Heirs and Beneficiaries
In the next step, the executor or the personal representative should send a notice to the decedent’s heirs and the beneficiaries mentioned in the will. The notice contains information about the hearing dates and location of the court.
Any heir or beneficiary having any objections regarding the will or the probation process can raise their concerns in front of the probate court on the day of the hearing. The probate law in America believes in giving an opportunity to everyone to raise their concerns.
- Probate Notice to Creditors
The executor or the personal representative must locate the creditors of the deceased and inform them about the execution of this process through a notice sent to them. The notice informs the creditors about the hearing dates and location.
The creditors ought to attend the hearing at the court on the mentioned date. Creditors missing the hearing will lose their chance to clear out their debts. The creditors also must prove their debts with authentic documents like bills, contracts, receipts, etc. so that the court will accept their claim. Thus, it orders the executor to clear out their debts from the probate purse.
- Evaluating the Estate Value
The executor must locate all the assets of the deceased. Then he/she evaluates their values based upon today’s market rate. Only the fully-owned assets of the decedent come under evaluation. The executor must sell these assets to clear out the debts of the decedent. After clearing out the debts, the heirs and beneficiaries receive the remaining amount.
The executor must present a written report of the valuation in front of the probate court along with a notation explaining the method of valuation of the assets.
- Clearing Out Debts
The executor must clear out the debts of the decedent before distributing the estate funds among the heirs and beneficiaries. The executor has to to pay all the creditors who proved that their claim of credits is valid. Creditors without valid proof are not paid.
Any unpaid mortgage or loan of the decedent before dying needs to be cleared out by the executor. The executor must clear this debt using the estate fund.
- Taxes and Fees
The executor will file the income tax return for the current year. Any estate taxes, if pending, must be cleared out.
The court charges some fees in order to execute the probation process. These fees are paid from the estate funds. Any other extra expenses incurred by the executor also get clearance using the estate funds.
- Distribution Among the Heirs and Beneficiaries
The remaining fund after clearing out the debts, taxes and fees transfers to the heirs and the beneficiaries. The executor requested the probate court to distribute the remaining estate funds among the heirs and beneficiaries mentioned on the will.
The court approves the distribution if the executor proves the claim of clearing out all the debts through a financial transaction report.
Thus, follow this probation process in advance with strategic planning to secure the estate and life of your dear ones.