The Probate Process: 3 to 9 Months After Death

step one step two step 3 step four step five step six
File for Probate Provide notice to heirs, beneficiaries and creditors Collect all income due to the estate Satisfy all valid claims against the estate File tax returns Submit a final accounting to the court
  1. Petition the appropriate court for probate.
  2. Place a legal notice in the paper to notify unidentified heirs and creditors. Contact named beneficiaries and known creditors directly.
  3. For example, if the decedent owned investment property, rents will need to be collected.
  4. This includes expenses, debts, and bequests (paid out in that order). Court permission may be required before writing checks through the estate account--keep meticulous records.
  5. The federal estate tax return is due nine months after the date of death. State filing deadlines vary, so check with the appropriate state agency.
  6. This is necessary to close the probate proceedings and relinquish the executor's duties.