After a loved one passes away, figuring out what exactly needs to be done to close out his or her estate can be confusing. The probate process, in particular, can prove challenging to get through. There are certain steps that have to be taken in a specific order before an estate can be distributed to beneficiaries. Here are a few things one can expect to happen when going through the probate process in the state of Louisiana.
To begin the probate process, one needs to file a petition for probate. After the petition is filed, estate planning documents must be validated. An executor will then be named if the decedent failed to designate one. Then, all beneficiaries and living relatives need to be contacted.
After this is done, the real work begins. The executor has to locate all property, contact creditors, pay any applicable taxes and tackle any complaints made against the estate. It is only after all issues have been resolved, bills paid and beneficiaries identified that the final distribution of assets can occur and probate comes to an end.
The probate process can take months to years to finalize, depending on the specific issues of the estate being handled. Any missteps could cause it to take far longer than it should. This, of course, can be frustrating for everyone involved. Thankfully, one does not have to go through the probate process alone. An experienced attorney can assist those closing out estates in Louisiana to get through it as quickly and pain-free as possible.