1. Obtain the original will and codicil, if any.
This is the most important step in any probate process, as it legally validates the wishes of the deceased. The original will must be filed with the court to start the process. If there are any codicils, these should also be obtained and filed with the will.
2. Determine who needs to be notified of the probate court proceedings.
It is important to notify all persons and/or entities who may have a claim on the estate or be interested in the outcome of the probate process, including creditors, beneficiaries, heirs, and any other parties as required by law.
3. File a Citation or Notice to Creditors with the local newspaper in the county where letters of testamentary were issued.
A citation or notice to creditors should be filed with the local newspaper in the county where letters of testamentary were issued. This step gives creditors and other interested parties an opportunity to make a claim against the estate if necessary.
4. Prepare an inventory of all assets belonging to the estate by obtaining bank statements, stock certificates, deed documents, and other records related to investments and real property owned by the decedent at death as well as vehicles titled in the decedent's name at death.
It is important to make a comprehensive inventory of all assets owned by the deceased person. This includes documents such as bank statements, stock certificates, deed records, vehicle titles, and other financial investments.
5. Prepare an appraised value for each asset listed on inventory; obtain valuations from professionals such as appraisers and auctioneers.
In order to calculate the value of each asset, it is necessary to have an appraised value. This should be done with the help of professional appraisers and/or auctioneers who can provide accurate values for all assets listed on the inventory.
6. Give notice of administration to all heirs/beneficiaries named in will or devisees under intestacy laws.
Notice of administration should be sent to all heirs/beneficiaries named in the will or devisees under intestacy laws. This notice informs them that a probate process is underway and that they may have rights to certain assets from the estate.
7. Identify special circumstances that may require additional steps (e.g., out-of-state real property).
Certain special circumstances may require additional steps to be taken during the probate process, such as if out-of-state real property is involved. It is important to identify these special circumstances and make sure they are addressed appropriately.
8. Post security bond if required by the court commissioner.
If a security bond is required by the court commissioner, it must be posted in order to proceed with probate. The purpose of this bond is to guarantee that the executor will manage the estate appropriately and not use any assets improperly.
9. File a Petition for Probate with the district court.
The next step is to file a petition for probate with the district court. This legal document requests permission from the court to begin administering the estate according to instructions in the will or state intestacy laws.
10. Gather necessary paperwork needed prior to the closing estate (i..e., final accounting, receipts showing payment of expenses incurred during the administration period).
Prior to closing the estate, it is important to gather any necessary paperwork needed. This includes a final accounting of all assets and expenses incurred during the administration period as well as receipts showing payment of those expenses.
11. Submit the final report with appropriate proof of payments.
The executor should submit a final report to the court containing proof of payment for all expenses related to administering the estate. This helps ensure that the assets are distributed properly and that all creditors have been paid in full.