What is probate?
Probate is the legal process of handling the affairs of a person who has died. Settling the estate of a decedent (the person who has passed away) involves a number of activities and responsibilities, such as paying any bills of the deceased which remain unpaid, and distributing assets to those who may be entitled to receive them. Other matters may also need to be resolved, including the sale of real estate. As far as Probate Money, Inc., services are concerned, we will be discussing probate that involves real estate.
How does the probate process work?
The state judge appoints the personal representative (PR), the personal representative collects all the assets, pays all the valid debts from the assets collected and distributes the money to the rightful heirs. This whole process is supervised by a state judge and usually takes about one year to complete.
The probate administration begins when the judge appoints the PR. The next step is when the court issues a form called “Letters.” The PR can now sell the applicable assets (such as the house) to pay off all the debts and taxes. After the estate assets have been appraised and liquidated, the estate can petition the court’s permission to distribute the money to the heirs, pay the personal representative’s fee and the probate attorney’s fee, and file the appropriate paperwork to release the personal representative from any further duties and liabilities.
Who can be the personal representative?
If there is a will naming an individual to be the personal representative then the court will appoint that individual to be the executor of the estate. If there is no will, then the surviving spouse, children, parents, relatives or creditors can petition the court to appoint themselves to be the administrator of the estate. The executor or administrator’s duties are the same. If there is a dispute as to who should be appointed as the personal representative, then the California Probate Code establishes a rule of priority as to who should be appointed.