– The first step must be taken by the custodian of the will. Within the first 30 days after the death, the custodian must take the original will to the probate court clerk’s office. A copy of the will must also be sent to the executor of the will. (Not taking these steps can be cause for the custodian to be sued.)
– The second step is for the petitioner. This person will be the one that files the Petition for Probate. The case must be filed in the county where the deceased lived. It is very important to speak with a lawyer for this step to make sure everything is handled properly.
– After the case is filed, there are several steps that occur. These steps are:
– A hearing date will be set by a probate clerk.
– If anyone has any rights to anything within the will, they must be informed of the date of the hearing by the petitioner. The petitioner must also include those who are not formally mentioned within the will but might still have a claim to what was left behind by the person who died.
– A notice must be placed in the newspaper by the petitioner.
– Before the hearing, the court probate examiner will need to review the case to make sure that everything was done correctly. They will need to make any corrections that are necessary.
– The judge will then decide who to appoint as the personal representative of the estate. This person will be the executor of the estate.
– The executor of the estate will need to fill out an Inventory and Appraisal regarding all of the assets in question. They will also need to see to valuing any non-monetary assets.
– The executor will need to let any creditors know of the situation through the use of the Notice of Administration to Creditors. They will also handle paying off any debts.
– Those who are responsible will also need to see that a final income tax return is prepared.
– When it comes to determining who will receive any property, the probate court will make those decisions.
– If any real property is sold, A Report of Sale and Petition for Confirming Sale of Real Property will need to be filed with the court.
– If any money is earned, the executor must see to it that a final estate tax return is filed.
– The executor must report to the probate court how the estate has been handled. They will have to make sure that the presiding judge is satisfied with how the estate was handled.
– Once everything is settled and the presiding judge is satisfied that everything was handled properly, the executor is released from their duties and the case is considered closed as far as this process is handled.