- FILING THE APPLICATION FOR PROBATE WITH ORIGINAL WILL
When you lose a loved one, the original will is filed with the proper court. An application asking the court to appoint the executor listed in the will is filed with the court. After filing the will, the clerk of the court will post a notice at the court advising all interested parties that the will has been filed. The notice must remain posted for at least 10 days. The purpose of this waiting period is to give those who wish to contest a will time to do so. If no one comes forward to contest the will, the courts will move forward with confirming the will’s validity.
However, a will can be challenged at any time after the will is offered to probate and up to two years after a will has been admitted for probate.
- HOLDING A HEARING
A hearing is held before a probate judge. During this hearing, the judge will recognize the decedent’s death, confirm that the individual applying to be executor is qualified and verify that the will is valid.
Once the hearing is complete, the judge admits the will to probate and appoints the executor. The clerk then issues “letters testamentary” to the executor, which serve as notice to third parties that the executor has authority to act on the estate’s behalf.
- INVENTORY, APPRAISEMENT AND LIST OF CLAIMS
The executor now has the responsibility to inventory and appraise the deceased person’s estate within 90 days of the hearing. These responsibilities include notifying beneficiaries of the will, posting a notice to creditors, discharging debts, filing the decedent’s final federal tax return, and otherwise settling the estate. The executor may also be responsible for selling estate assets.