The first steps that are taken after the death of a loved one are as follows:
- Notify Family Members, Friends, Church, And Next Of Kin.
- Meet With The Funeral Home To Make The Necessary Funeral Arrangements.
- Locate The Will To Determine Who Is Listed As The Executor Of The Estate And Whether Any Funeral Instructions Have Been Included In The Will Or Attached To The Will.
- Locate And Secure Assets. Change The Lock On The House If Others Have Keys And Make Sure Neighbors Watch The House.
- Contact The Attorney Who Drew Up The Will Or Find An Attorney If There Is No Will
Next, you will need to open the Probate Estate and go through the administration process. The steps of going through probate include the following:
- File The Will With The Probate Court
- Send Notice Of The Filing Of The Will To All Persons Listed In The Will And Those Who Would Inherit If There Was No Will Or The Will Was Invalid
- Have The Executor (Or Administrator When There No Will) Appointed. Once Appointed, The Probate Court Issues A Court Order Called “Letters Of Authority”
- Appraise And Value The Assets
- File An Inventory Listing The Assets In The Probate Estate
- Send Notice Of The Filing Of The Inventory To The Heirs
- Have A Hearing If Any Beneficiaries Object To The Inventory
- Sell Assets As Needed To Pay Debts
- Resolve Will Contests, If Any
- Resolve Creditor Claims, If Any
- File Estate Tax Returns
- Transfer And Distribute Assets To The Heirs
- File A Final Account Showing All Distributions From The Estate