If you have recently had a parent pass away and he or she left a will, there is a good chance that the executor will have a lot of responsibilities now. If you are the executor, one of the things you will need to do is check the probate. Probate law dictates that a multitude of things have to happen before the heirs of the estate will receive anything. Here is what checking the probate typically entails in your job duties as the executor of the estate.
Check for Property Debt
Are there back property taxes owed on any homes or property the deceased owned? If so, you will need to gather records of those property taxes owed. The court will expect that before the property is passed to an heir, the taxes owed will be paid in full. Passing on debt to an heir is not typically allowed, which is why these debts have to be paid. If the deceased had mortgages of the first, second, or third kind on any one property, those debts have to be paid as well.
Check for Loans and Credit Card Debt
Many people make an effort to leave this world with little to no debt. That is a good way to go, but it is not always feasible. Check the financial records and statements of your deceased parent to see if he or she had any loan debt or credit card debt. Those debts will also have to be paid, typically with any liquid assets left behind by your deceased parent.
Find Out If a Probate Lawyer Is Involved
Did your parent hire a probate lawyer to help settle the affairs of his or her estate? If so, find out who the lawyer is, and begin the dialogue with the lawyer regarding your parent's passing. The lawyer needs this information in order to start the process of validating the will and making it legal for all assets to be transferred to those people specified in the will. The probate lawyer will also be working hand in hand with you to settle the loans, credit card debt, and property debt.
Help Transfer Remaining Liquid Assets and Property Assets to the Heirs
If you are fortunate enough to not have to pay off a lot of your parent's debt because your parent did not pass with much debt, then the probate process goes more quickly. Within just a few months (rather than a year or more), you should be able to meet with the heirs mentioned in your parent's will and dole out what is left to everyone according to the will. The probate lawyer or the wills and trusts lawyer may be present to read and/or present the will with the remaining assets.
For more information, contact a probate law service.