Estate Administration & Probate

Estate administration and probate is the legal process for carrying out the instructions contained in an estate plan.   The Will and other estate planning documents may address how and by whom the individual’s assets will be managed and allocated to the designated beneficiaries.  The executor of a Will or the administrator of an estate (if your loved one did not have a Will) will have certain responsibilities, including: marshalling the deceased’s assets, filing the inventory, addressing any debts, and filing an accounting. This all has to be completed before distributing the estate according to the Will or default State laws.

Probate can be a confusing and potentially complicated process during what is already an emotional time. Parkway Law can provide you with the attentive and knowledgeable representation you need to complete the probate process and carry out the wishes of a deceased loved one. With our firm, you will receive the necessary guidance. To accomplish this difficult task, Parkway Law will work with you step-by-step to probate the estate.

Let Parkway Law help you with these steps to probate an Estate:

    1. Filing the Will and death certificate. An original Will (if any) and an original death certificate must be filed with Register of Wills in your County.
    2. Determining if the deceased’s estate qualifies as a “Small Estate.” Small Estates avoid the worry and costs of a formal probate process.  If the estate has less than $30,000 in solely owned assets and no solely owned real estate, then it may qualify as a Small Estate.
    3. Opening the estate for probate. If there is solely owned real estate, or if the estate is valued at over $30,000, a formal estate should be opened. Parkway can assist with filing the required opening petition, case information worksheet, and other documents that may be necessary.
    4. Preparing and filing the Inventory. Three months after opening an estate an inventory must be filed. The inventory lists what the deceased owned at the time of his or her death. This list includes bank accounts, stocks and bonds, real estate, personal items such as household furnishings or cars, and any property they owned with another person. Parkway Law can assist in locating and gathering assets of the estate to maximize the value for your loved one’s beneficiaries.
    5. Paying the debts of the Estate. Claims against the estate may be made during an 8 month time period from the date of death.  Parkway Law can assist in assessing the validity of these claims, and their priority under State law, if necessary.
    6. Preparing and filing the Accounting. Within a year of opening the estate, an accounting is due.  The accounting shows the final balance of the assets in the estate. Any additional assets that came into the estate after the date of death are added to the estate, and any debts of the estate and/or expenses incurred while probating the estate are subtracted from the estate.  Parkway Law can assist you in collecting the necessary information and can prepare and file the accounting.
    7. Closing the Estate. Once the accounting has been audited and approved by the Register of Wills, the estate can be closed and the assets of the estate can be distributed to the beneficiaries. Parkway can assist with filing the paperwork necessary to close the estate, as well as, prepare any documents that may be needed to transfer estate assets to the beneficiaries.

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