What to do when a loved one dies without a will..

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What to do when a loved one dies without a will..

Steps when a loved one dies without a will.....

  1. Confirm the Death: First, ensure that the death is officially certified by obtaining a death certificate from the appropriate authorities.
  2. Notify Authorities: If your loved one was receiving government benefits or pensions, you should notify the relevant agencies of their passing to avoid any overpayments or complications.

  3. Locate Assets and Liabilities: Make a list of the deceased's assets (property, bank accounts, investments, personal belongings, etc.) and liabilities (debts, mortgages, loans, etc.). You might need to search their home, and records, and contact financial institutions for this information.

  4. Consult an Attorney: It's advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in probate and estate law. They can guide you through the legal process and help you understand the specific intestate succession laws in your jurisdiction.

  5. Petition for Probate: In many cases, you'll need to file a petition with the local probate court to have an administrator appointed to handle the estate. This administrator is typically a family member, close friend, or a professional appointed by the court.

  6. Inventory and Appraisal: The appointed administrator will need to create an inventory of the deceased's assets and have them appraised if necessary. This ensures that the estate's value is accurately determined.

  7. Debts and Taxes: The administrator should also identify and pay off any outstanding debts and taxes owed by the deceased's estate. This may involve selling assets if there aren't sufficient liquid funds.

  8. Distribution of Assets: Once debts, taxes, and other expenses are settled, the remaining assets are typically distributed among the heirs according to the laws of intestate succession. The distribution process can vary, so consult with your attorney for guidance.

  9. Legal Fees and Expenses: Keep records of all expenses incurred during the probate process, as these may be reimbursed from the estate's assets.

  10. Final Accounting and Closing: After all assets have been distributed, the administrator should provide a final accounting to the court, showing how the estate was handled. Once the court approves this accounting, the estate can be officially closed.

Dorsey's Realty Disclaimer -  Remember, consult with an attorney who specializes in probate and trust matters to ensure that the disclaimer meets the specific legal requirements and addresses the unique circumstances of your situation. This disclaimer is a general example and may need to be customized to fit the specific circumstances and legal requirements of the probate estate or trust you are dealing with. It is always advisable to consult with a legal professional to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations. 

Contact your dedicated Certified Residential Real Estate Probate Specialist Fred Dorsey

"Prince of Probate" to schedule a telephone conversation. 301.760.2178


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