Probate is the process through which someone seeks authority from a court of law to act as the official representative of an Estate. Once this authority is obtained, you will be able to investigate what assets the deceased owned, what debts they owed, and how much their heirs will receive.
The Probate process generally consists of the following steps:
- Petition the court to become the legal representative of the Estate.
- Notify heirs and debtors.
- Change legal ownership of assets from the deceased individual to the "Estate of [Name of the Deceased]."
- Pay any funeral expenses, taxes, and debts.
- Transfer assets to heirs.
- Notify the court of your actions and close the Estate.