Probate is the legal process of proving the validity of a will. The decedent is considered to have died in intestacy.
At the beginning of probate, a petition is filed with the court which give notice to heirs and beneficiaries. Once the letters of administration are issued and the will is admitted to probate, the personal representative shall notify all creditors by publishing in a local newspaper. If there is no will, someone must ask the court to appoint him or her as personal representative of the decedent's estate. This is usually a spouse or an adult child.
The estate through the court shall appoint a personal representative who will give notice to all creditors and take an inventory of all of the property and assets of the estate.
The decedent's funeral expenses, taxes, and debts are all paid from the estate. These claims are superior to other creditors and the decedent's beneficiaries. However, the decedent's homestead property can be protected from creditors for the benefit of the decedent's beneficiaries. Call the Law Office of David Seif to ask questions regarding this issue.
Legal title in property is transferred either according to the will of laws of intestacy, if the decedent died without a will.