The passage of property from one person to another after death is complicated, because it involves centuries of legal precedent and customs. Fortunately, there is help. A probate and estates lawyer can help you through the probate process. Remember, every legal case is different. Before taking any legal action, you should consult with an experienced probate attorney. That said, in simple terms, lawyers probate wills in Youngstown by following four main steps.
Provide Notice to Beneficiaries and Heirs
The first step in probating a will is to file a petition with the probate court. The purpose of the petition is to notify the will’s beneficiaries and the deceased’s heirs that the will is going to be executed. At this stage, the probate court also generally appoints an executor and orders the posting of a notice in the newspaper. A good probate and estates lawyer will attend the hearing and complete all required postings.
While the notice period is running, any creditor may make a claim to assets to satisfy the debts of the deceased. Meanwhile, the executor oversees a full inventory of the deceased’s estate, including real and personal property, stocks and bonds, cash, business interests, and all other assets. An appraiser assesses the full value of the estate.
Pay the Bills
Before the executor can execute the will, he or she must pay all the final bills of the estate. This includes things like funeral expenses, utility bills, and medical costs. It also, though, includes other legitimate creditor claims. A probate and estates lawyer can manage these costs and ensure the estate satisfies all its financial obligations.
After paying all the debts and waiting for a sufficient time for creditors to make a claim, the executor asks the court for permission to transfer legal title to the estate’s assets to the will’s designee. If the will asks for the creation of a trust, the probate and estates lawyer can oversee that process.
While probate differs based on jurisdiction, lawyers generally probate will by follow those four steps.