What to Expect at a Probate Court Proceeding
The probate process is the process where the court will determine what assets an individual has at death, what debts the person owes, and distribute the remaining assets to any beneficiaries. A St. Petersburg probate lawyer can explain to you all the general steps of the probate process:
- Personal Representatives are Appointed. The Circuit Court will appoint the executor nominated in the will or another interested person as the personal representative of the estate.
- Beneficiaries are Given Notice. Potential beneficiaries of the estate are given notice of the probate proceeding.
- Letter of Administration. The court will issue this document which will give the personal representative of the estate the authority to settle the estate and pay out the assets to the beneficiaries.
- Will is Validated. If the deceased individual left a will, the will needs to be filed in court and validated. The will may be validated by having witnesses give statements under oath regarding the authenticity of the document. In some cases, the will may be self-proving, meaning that the document itself proves the validity of the will.
- Assets are Inventoried. The court will supervise the personal representatives in gathering and inventorying the assets of the deceased. This includes any debts of the deceased and taxes owed. Any remaining assets will be distributed to the beneficiaries.
- Final Accounting Submitted to Court. The personal representative will submit a final accounting of the estate to the court. This is essentially a summary showing the assets of the estate and the plan for distributing the assets to beneficiaries.
- Estate is Closed. When the assets have been distributed, the personal representative will file receipts with the court and request that the estate be closed.
A St. Petersburg probate lawyer can explain to you that the whole probate process usually takes between six months and one year. If you need assistance with any of these steps, you should talk to an experienced probate lawyer.
Contact a St. Petersburg Probate Lawyer
If you have any questions about what to expect at a probate court proceeding or need professional representation for probate, contact a St. Petersburg probate lawyer. Schedule a consultation to discuss the facts of your case with an attorney at the Coleman Law Firm by calling 727-461-7474.