Legal Services

Probate

Probate is the correct legal process of distributing the assets of a person who has passed away. First, creditors are notified and paid: this can include the funeral home, medical expenses, or back taxes. All must be paid before assets can be distributed to the descendants or to charities.

This process can take several months before the assets of the deceased are distributed to their descendants, which can be discouraging, and that’s perfectly understandable. But with the proper preparation, excessive delays can be avoided.

It’s important to bring the following documents with you to your initial probate meeting:

Checklist

  • The will, if there was one (preferably the original)
  • Certified copies of the death certificate
  • The person’s funeral bill (whether paid or unpaid)
  • Contact information for anyone named in the will
  • The deed to any real estate the person owned
  • Vehicle titles for cars and mobile homes
  • Statements for bank accounts and/or investments
  • Life insurance policies
  • Any unpaid medical bills, mortgage statements, credit cards, or any other form of existing debt.