At the time of your death, you will leave behind an estate that consists of all assets owned by you, or in which you had an ownership interest, at the time of your death. Those assets must now be transferred to new owners; however, before that can occur a number of other steps must take place first during the legal process known as probate. Among the most common of those steps are:
- Authenticating the decedent’s Last Will and Testament if applicable.
- Identifying, locating, and valuing estate assets
- Allowing creditors to file claims against the estate
- Litigating any challenges to the Will
- Ensuring that taxes owed by the decedent and/or the estate are paid
- Effectuating the transfer of estate assets to the intended beneficiaries and/or heir of the estate.