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The importance of clear guidance in probate

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2024 | Estate Planning

Losing a loved one is an emotionally and practically challenging experience for almost anyone. The difficulties escalate when you bear the responsibility of managing the estate of your deceased family member.

Undertaking the probate process, particularly as the executor of the estate, adds layers of stress and worry to the already complex matter of grieving. Having clear guidance on your side can help you calmly understand the executor’s role in probate and every step you must tackle along the way.

Validating the will

The first step in the probate process is verifying the validity of the deceased’s will. This ensures that the court recognizes the wishes outlined in the will and carries them out.

Intestate circumstances

In cases where there is no will, the executor must take additional legal action to address intestate circumstances. Without clear guidance, this can be a daunting task, potentially leading to delays and added stress for all involved parties.

Opening the estate and inventorying assets

Another task the executor must complete is opening the estate and inventorying assets. Proper guidance can help the executor stay organized and ensure that all relevant information is properly documented.

Creditors and beneficiaries

The executor must also notify creditors and beneficiaries of the estate’s status. A thorough roadmap is necessary for fulfilling these obligations, minimizing the risk of misunderstandings or disputes among interested parties.

Managing accounts and personal property

Throughout the entirety of probate, the executor manages various accounts and personal property. Following the proper steps under clear guidance will protect the executor against any accusations of breach of fiduciary duty.

The available data suggests that there are over 3 million probate cases per year in the United States. While everyone will inevitably go through probate, that does not mean that the process is always simple. When complications arise, clear and experienced guidance can help executors address the concerns of all interested parties.