Probate, the court-supervised procedure for distributing assets in an estate, often receives a bad rep because of its time-consuming and sometimes public process. However, probate is very important in the distribution of wealth.
If a deceased individual does not leave a will or if a will is declared invalid, the court will appoint a personal representative or an administrator of the estate, according to a recent Weaver eNewsletter article. This appointed individual, with the assistance of an attorney, is typically responsible for the following tasks:
- Take inventory
- Evaluate the estate to minimize costs
- Decide on proper proceedings
- Publish notices to creditors
- Pay debts
- Pay taxes
- Disburse allowances
- Distribute assets
- Close the estate
View the eNewsletter article to learn more about the probate process steps as well as the difference between probate and non-probate assets.