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When a loved one passes away, their estate often goes through a court-managed process called probate or estate administration, where the assets of the deceased are managed and distributed. If your loved one owned their assets through a well-drafted and properly funded Living Trust, it is likely that no court-managed administration is necessary—the successor trustee will administer the distribution of the assets. The length of time needed to complete the probate of an estate depends on the size and complexity of the estate and the local rules and schedule of the probate court.

Every probate estate is unique, but most involve the following steps:

  • Filing of a petition with the proper probate court
  • Notice to heirs under the Will or to statutory heirs (if no Will exists)
  • Petition to appoint Executor (in the case of a Will) or Administrator for the estate
  • Inventory and appraisal of estate assets by Executor/Administrator
  • Payment of estate debt to rightful creditors
  • Sale of estate assets 
  • Payment of estate taxes, if applicable
  • Final distribution of assets to heirs
  • Accounting of all financial transactions

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We can help you with estate administration and probate.