When someone passes away and they have no will outlining their final wishes for their assets they are declared to have died “intestate.” In such cases, the distribution of their assets and financial accounts falls to local legal teams and established laws that vary from one area to another. In this YouTube video, you will learn the basic steps involved with this probate process which include the following and then some.
The first step in the probate process is for the court to appoint an administrator. This person is typically a close family member, but the court makes the final decision.
The administrator is responsible for taking an inventory of the deceased person’s assets and obtaining appraisals if necessary. This step helps establish the total value of the estate.
Outstanding debts, including mortgages, loans, and taxes, are paid from the estate’s assets. This can reduce the estate’s value. Once debts are settled, the remaining assets are distributed according to the law. This usually means that the assets go to the surviving spouse and children, and if none exist, to other relatives in a specific order defined by the state’s laws.
The entire process is overseen by the probate court, which must approve all decisions and distributions. This process can be time-consuming and costly. Dying without a will can make an already challenging time more complex for loved ones. So, check out the video and see what you can avoid by having a will in place ahead of time!