What is Probating a Will? A Step-By-Step Guide Through the Process

In North America alone, there are over 2 million deaths every year. If you recently lost a loved one, you’ll start hearing legal terms that you may not understand.

This may leave you wondering things like, “What is probating a will?” Understanding this will help you more easily navigate the legal process during this difficult time.

Keep reading to learn more about probating a will and what your responsibilities are during this process.

What is Probating a Will?

Probating a will is the process of carrying out the will of a deceased individual. It is supervised by a court to ensure everything is done correctly and everybody receives what they’re supposed to.

How to Probate a Will

Let’s look at the necessary steps to probate a will.

1. Locate and Read the Will

If the decedent has left a last will and testament, it needs to be located and read. Be sure it’s the most recent version. If you have any doubts about the authenticity of a will, be sure to have an attorney look at it immediately.

2. List All of the Beneficiaries

Carefully list each individual that’s mentioned in the will as a beneficiary. It’s important to include as much information about each person as you can.

Try to include:

  • Their full legal name
  • Their address
  • Their phone number

Any other information that allows them to be contacted and identified as a beneficiary will help speed up the probate process.

3. Identify the Decedent’s Assets

The next step is to make a list of all of the decedent’s assets. This includes any real estate, bank accounts, stocks and bonds, and other assets like vehicles or jewelry.

4. Identify the Decedent’s Liabilities

Now you have to identify all of the liabilities the decedent had. This could be credit card debts, mortgages, and any ongoing services. For any ongoing liabilities, be sure to find out the total amount owed.

Before the beneficiaries get any of the assets, all of the liabilities need to be taken care of. It’s essential to have all of these as early in the process as possible, so there are no surprises down the road.

5. Contact an Attorney

The last thing you need to do is find an estate or probate attorney that can help you take the next necessary steps to execute the will. Having a lawyer will allow there to be a non-emotional third party that can help make sure everything is done properly.

It’s also important to choose a lawyer that specializes in probating wills because these laws can be complicated, and not every lawyer will have the knowledge and experience to handle your case.

Learn More About Probating a Will

Now you know the answer to the question, “What is probating a will?” As you can see, there are a few steps you need to take as part of the process.

To learn more about probating a will and other legal processes, keep reading our blog. It’s full of information that will help you with any legal situation.

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