Inheriting a Property in Probate: What Happens Next?

July 5, 2021


The legalities concerning inheriting property can be quite complex. That’s why people hire a team of experts to help them understand the basics of inheritance and get them through the whole process with ease.  if you need to sell your inherited house in Greensboro, NC AIP House Buyers will make you a fair cash offer.

In general, when you become responsible for a property that’s been left behind by a dearly departed one, then you will most likely need to go through a probate process. This is a formal legal proceeding in which the distribution of property is administered by a court after the death of the owner.

So, for example, if you have an estate in the Orange County area in Los Angeles that is valued over $150,000, then you should hire a licenced Orange County probate attorney who will handle various aspects of settling the estate as well as any complications or disputes that may come along.

To better understand it, here is how the probate process works.


Authentication of the last will and testament

As a general rule, most states require that the will of the deceased should be filed in the probate court as soon as possible. This is done in order for the will to be validated by a judge first by a way of a court hearing. The court decides if the will is valid or not when the decedent along with a witness signs a document called a “self-proving affidavit”.

During this part of the process, all concerned parties can object to the will being admitted for probate if they think it isn’t drafted properly or someone is in possession of a more recent will.

The cost of getting it wrong or producing a poorly drafted Will far outweigh the cost of getting it done properly in the first place.  That's why it's important to hire a solicitor. Wills and Trusts are an essential part of our life, but if not dealt with correctly can become complicated and difficult to deal with when we die. This is why you should always have your Will checked by a professional - such as Wilson Browne Solicitors Will & Probate Services - before they come into effect - otherwise, you might be surprised at how much more difficult things will be for your loved ones after you pass away!

Appointment of an executor or administrator

Another important step in the probate process is the appointment of an executor or an administrator who will oversee the process and settle the estate. While in some cases the name of the executor is usually the person appointed by the decedent in their will, in others the court usually appoints a personal representative that is next of kin. This person isn’t obligated to serve and can decline the offer while the court appoints someone else.

Once the appointment has been done, the executor receives a document called “letters testamentary” that allows them to act and enter into the transactions on behalf of the estate.

Evaluation of the assets

One of the main responsibilities of the executor is to locate and take possession of all the decedent’s assets in order to protect them during the probate process. The biggest issue with this part of the procedure is that the deceased may own assets nobody knows about, not even their spouses, or have forgotten to include them in their wills.

In this case, the executor must look for these hidden assets through a review of insurance policies, tax returns and other documentation that may help.

In the case of real estate, the administrator protects the property by ensuring all taxes are paid, insurance is kept current and mortgage payments are made.

Payment of debts

Another job of the executor is to pay all the decedent’s debts and final bills even medical bills that might have happened during their final days. In order for this part of the process to go smoothly, the personal representative must notify the creditors of the death of the deceased immediately. This is done in order to prevent somebody from racking up debt in the deceased person’s name.

Since this step can be a bit complex for executioners, it is best to work with an attorney who knows all the laws and regulations and will help you avoid mistakes and additional expenses.


Estate distribution

Once all steps are successfully completed, the last part of the probate process is the distribution of the estate. In this case, the executor files a petition to the court to be granted permission to distribute what is left of the deceased person’s assets to the inheritors. This permission is only granted as soon as the accounting, payments and other transactions from the probate process are completed.

When all of this is done, the transfer documents and deeds are then filed with the officials of the state or country so the bequests can be finalized.

Final thoughts

Since the process of inheriting property can be complex and cause emotional and financial issues, it is crucial that people are well acquainted with the procedure. One way of going through this with as much ease as possible is to rely on a probate attorney to do the work for you.

To find out more about how the probate process goes, refer back to this post and follow the steps to make everything a lot simpler.


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