Do you know only 5% of the population has a living trust?  What does that mean?  It means your assets directly transfer to your heirs after your death by your personal representative and you avoid the probate process.  Whether you have a Will or not, your estate will go through the probate process if you don’t have a living trust set up beforehand.

What is the timeline for probate? It can take from 9 months to 18 months for final distribution.

Here are the normal steps:

  1.  Prepare and File a “Petition for Probate”  (1-2 months)
  2. Attend a Court hearing on the Petition for Probate (3-4 months)
  3. If not contested, “Letters of Administration” or “Letters of Testimentary” are issued (2-4 months)
  4. Publish a “Notice to Creditors” (2-4 months)
  5. Allow or Reject Creditor Claims (3-5 months)
  6. Send a Notice to Department of Health Services Inventory & Appraisement (4-8 months)
  7. Pay State and Federal Taxes, if necessary (6-12 months)
  8. If assets transfer to a minor, you need a “Claim of Exemption”  (6-18 months)
  9. Receive a final tax letter from the State (Dept of Revenue) and Federal IRS (6-18 months)
  10. File a “Petition for “Final Distribution and Accounting” (8-16 months)
  11. Attend a hearing and receive an order approving for the final distribution and accounting
  12. Distribute assets to heirs (9-17 months)
  13. Receive a final “Discharge Order” which closes the probate case (9-18 months)

An Estate Executor’s Duties During the Probate Process
  1. Reads your Will
  2. Safeguards your assets during the process until final distribution
  3. Petitions the Court for Probate of your Will
  4. Inventories all of your assets, paying your bills, and collects all monies due
  5. Procures an appraisal of any real estate or personal property
  6. Submits any tax returns due to the State and Federal entities
  7. Publishes a Notice to Creditors
  8. Reviews and settles all claims of creditors
  9. Prepares a final accounting and notifies interested parties of court hearing
  10. After court approval, obtains a Final Discharge and distributes assets

Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist

I successfully satisfied the required curriculum and was awarded the Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist (CPRES) certification.  I have both personal and professional experience in working with or being a personal representative.  I am able to provide the personal representative with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) or a Broker Price Opinion (BPO) on property the decedent owned.  Since I am also a Certified Home Stager, I can discuss with the personal representative on the pros and cons of doing any repairs or updates in order to get a better price.

Probate Terms

These are some of the terms you may need to know as a personal representative:

  • Abatement
  • Ademption
  • Codicil
  • Conservator
  • Escheat
  • Fiduciary
  • Intestate
  • Joint Tenancy
  • Right of Representation
  • Testamentary Trust
  • Testator
  • Totten Trust
  • Uniform Gifts to Minors Act

The probate process can be overwhelming.  I can help you through this transition time.

Please contact Gina Newell, Premiere Stagers & Realty at 608-345-9396.