Have you been declared the executor of an estate? Where do you start? Now that you know what probate is and what to expect during the process, let’s discuss first steps!
I’ve been in your shoes. Your first step will be to go to Probate Court in the county where the deceased person lived. This is where you’ll file the will, along with a copy of the death certificate and a Petition to be formally appointed as the Personal Representative. Once you’ve done this, you will receive “Letters” when your request is approved. These “letters”’ are proof of your legal authority to collect and manage the estate’s assets. Keep in mind that it can take up to several weeks or more for you to receive your Letters.
Your responsibility as Personal Representative is to collect, inventory and protect the assets of the estate and pay valid debts and taxes. After debts and taxes have been paid, you will distribute the remaining property as the will directs. You will want to have a strong team of professionals available to help you through this process. A good probate attorney, tax professional and, if the estate includes real estate, a realtor who can help to make the process much easier for you.
The legal process can be complicated so be sure to seek the advice of an attorney as I am not one but just giving helpful information.
Maria D’Aura, Realtor® | eXp Realty | 925.400.8488