When a loved one passes away, those left behind will have the responsibility of settling his or her estate and distributing assets according to the terms of his or her will. This is an immense responsibility, and it can be emotionally challenging to navigate this process after a death in the family. The probate process itself can be complicated, and it can be even more so when there are issues that arise during this process.
If you are tasked with the responsibility of navigating probate for your loved one, you will benefit from knowing exactly what you should expect from this process. Not only can this help you avoid problems, but it can also help you save time and money. Whether you are the executor of a Hawaii estate or other interested party, having reasonable expectations for probate can help you look ahead with confidence.
What will happen?
Probate is the legal process of verifying a decedent’s will, settling outstanding matters associated with the estate and eventually distributing estate assets according to the terms of the decedent’s will. The executor of the estate, an individual designated in the will or appointed by the court, will oversee the process. The following steps are a requirement during probate:
- Locating the will and filing it with the court
- Notifying creditors
- Locating, valuing and safeguarding assets
- Paying off remaining debts and final tax returns
- Distributing assets according to terms of will
The probate process can take months, even if there are no complications, and it may take longer if there are disputes over the terms of the will, assets that can’t be located or other setbacks. You must address issues that arise during probate before moving forward. Due to the complex and sensitive nature of many of these potential complications with probate, it is useful to have the guidance and support of an experienced professional.
Reducing problems with the probate process
You do not have to navigate the probate process alone. You will benefit from having support and insight at every step, which will be particularly useful in case issues do arise. Whether it is regarding a will dispute, issue with probate or other matter, you have the right to fight for the most beneficial outcome for you and your loved ones.