Distributing a loved one's assets after his or her death can come as a bittersweet moment. You will certainly miss your family member immensely, but knowing that you and other individuals may obtain meaningful assets as a reminder of the special person may bring you some comfort. Of course, before any individuals can obtain assets from the remaining estate as dictated in a will, the probate process must finish.
If your loved one named you executor of his or her estate, you will face the most responsibilities when handling the probate process. You will essentially take charge in ensuring that the appropriate parties have necessary information and that heirs receive the correct items. Due to having such tasks to attend to, you will certainly want to understand the probate process.
Validating a will
During probate, the court will review the deceased's will. In doing so, the determination will come about as to whether he or she took the proper steps to create a legally binding document. Additionally, you and other individuals can examine the document, and if any suspicions arise regarding the intentions of the will, you or the other parties can take action to express your concerns and potentially contest the document.
Additional actions that you will likely also participate in as executor of the estate include:
- Gathering your deceased loved one's property
- Reviewing financial information
- Paying outstanding debts and taxes relating to the estate
- Distributing assets to the appropriate heirs
The length and complexity of the probate process will depend on the specific circumstances of your family member's estate. If will contests and other litigation takes place or beneficiaries prove particularly difficult to work with, your proceedings may take a considerable amount of time to complete. Due to such potential outcomes, you may wish to ensure that you feel prepared to handle the proceedings and have the time it may take to close the estate.
Because probate is a legal process, you may feel as if you do not have the adequate knowledge to fully understand your duties. Luckily, local Arizona resources can help you gain reliable information that may allow you to feel more comfortable in dealing with the responsibilities you may face as executor. You may wish to explore your options for potentially making the probate process run as smoothly as possible in hopes of honoring your loved one's memory to the best of your ability.