What Are the Steps of Probate?

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

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