1. Organize important information:
This includes contact information for the deceased person’s family and friends, as well as any important account numbers or passwords.
2. Determine need for probate or attorney help:
If the deceased person had a Will, it will need to be filed with the court in order to start the probate process. If there is no Will, or if the Will doesn’t cover all the deceased person’s assets, then an attorney will need to be hired to help with the estate settlement.
3. File the Will and notify necessary persons:
After determining that probate is necessary, the next step is to file the Will with the court and notify any beneficiaries or creditors listed in the Will.
4. Take inventory and appraise all assets:
This includes taking a list of all of the deceased person’s assets and having them appraised by a professional to determine their value.
5. Set up a bank account:
This is necessary in order to pay bills and taxes related to the estate, as well as to distribute assets to beneficiaries.
6. Pay taxes:
The estate may be subject to estate taxes, so it’s important to file tax returns and pay any taxes owed.
7. Pay off any debts:
The estate will need to pay off any outstanding debts of the deceased person.
8. Distribute assets according to deceased person’s Will:
Once all debts have been paid, the remaining assets can be distributed according to the terms of the Will.
9. Close the estate:
After all bills have been paid and assets distributed, it’s time to close the estate by filing final paperwork with the court and canceling any services or accounts associated with the deceased person.