Probate is a legal process that happens after a person dies. A petition is filed asking the District Court to appoint someone to be the Personal Representative of the Decedent’s estate. If there is a Will, it is presented to the Court, and if the Will is determined to be valid the probate is processed under the terms of the will, i.e., appointing whoever is named in the Will to be the Executor or Personal Representative; paying last debts; filing taxes; and selling or distributing assets according to the wishes of the Decedent. If there is no Will or Trust, the Probate is processed under the laws of intestacy, meaning no Will or other document has been found that would control the administration of the decedent’s estate. In that case, each state has statutes that control how a probate is handled and also controls who receives the decedent’s assets.
At Anderson Law Firm PLLC, we frequently handle probate matters. While it can be a stressful time after the death of a loved one, probating the decedent’s estate provides some sense of finality, and the legal process is structured so that most probate cases can be finalized within a year or less.
Until someone is appointed in a probate case, it is unlikely that any of the decedent’s assets can be sold or otherwise distributed. Contact us if you need assistance with the assets of your decedent, we are here to help.