If you’ve recently lost a loved one, please accept my sympathy. I work with clients in your shoes...each story is unique. Regardless of how much you already know about estate administration, my goal is to make the process as stress-free as possible. Let me explain the basics. Asset distribution may take several paths including passage by title, beneficiary designation, or probate or trust administration, depending upon the type of estate planning documents that were prepared in advance. Read more below about your specific circumstance.
My Loved One Left a Will — Now What?
Last wills and testaments must be preserved or validated by your state’s probate court. THE WILL MUST BE FILED BY AFFIDAVIT OR PETITION WITHIN 6 MONTHS OF DATE OF DEATH. You should meet with an attorney as soon as possible after a loved one's death to determine the steps to take to conserve the estate and to preserve the will or open an estate. To begin probate, a petition must be filed at the probate court in the deceased person’s last county of residence. The court will then review the decedent’s death certificate and a copy of his or her will, and appoint the executor. The executor is the person nominated in the will and is held responsible for marshaling the assets, paying debts and taxes, notifying creditors, and distributing remaining assets according to the will, in accordance with the will terms and any required Court orders.