Preparing For Probate

Probate can be challenging for many people. Not only is it something that most people are unfamiliar with, but it comes on the heels of an emotionally difficult time—the passing of a loved one. If you have recently learned that someone has passed away and their assets will pass through the probate courts, the following is meant to provide you with some valuable information about what the road ahead looks like and how to prepare.

Probate Attorneys

If you feel overwhelmed with facing the probate process, contact a professional who does this for a living. They can walk you through the steps while also helping you to navigate them. Before you meet with an attorney, take the time to obtain a death certificate and a copy of the will (if there is one).

Your attorney must file a Petition for Administration with the court to initiate the probate process. Though it may take a while due to the number of increased filings, the court will issue Letters of Administration. This document notifies you that your petition has been granted, and will also name a personal representative (usually the person who filed unless one has already been appointed).


The representative of the estate has to notify the deceased’s creditors. Though this can be done one at a time, your attorney can advise you of more efficient ways. You can publish a Notice to Creditors for a specified period. Following that, creditors have three months/90 days to file claims against the estate.

If they are owed money by the deceased, they may collect the money owed to them through the deceased’s assets. This must happen before you or any other designated beneficiaries can claim them. Though this time may seem long, people generally inventory the deceased’s estate concurrently.

Not everyone creates an estate plan (although they should). In your absence, you will quickly discover the challenges of accessing bank and retirement accounts without already having been given access to them. Again, these are the types of challenges an attorney can help you navigate.

Estate Taxes

After the creditor period has been closed and the debts have been paid, there is still the issue of paying estate taxes. The personal representative must ensure this happens because they may be personally liable for unpaid taxes.

Due to the need to pay both creditors and taxes, a final audit must be done on the estate to account for everything that has gone in and out of it. When this is complete, beneficiaries may begin to receive the assets that were given to them.

C. Alvarez Law

At C. Alvarez Law, we are accustomed to delivering custom solutions to some of your most challenging problems. If you are about to go through the probate process, allow us to assist you during this time. Contact C. Alvarez Law to schedule a consultation today.

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C. Alvarez Law

C. Alvarez Law is a Central Florida-based law firm that helps families find resolutions to their most complex family law issues. We are dedicated to providing the support and advice you need for a positive outcome and a better life. Before you can move on with your life, you need closure. Our firm is diverse, energetic, and passionate about delivering this for the clients who have placed their trust in us. Let’s work together today to find a better tomorrow.

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