What To Do If Your Loved One Passes Away and Has a Will


If you have recently lost a loved one, the last thing you want to do is deal with their estate. At King Law Offices, we handle estate matters on a regular basis and would be glad to help you settle the estate for your loved one.

When beginning an estate, the first step is to determine how much in assets the estate will have, because if it is below a certain amount, you can bypass a lot of the required forms and steps and probate the estate faster. If there is more than $20,000 in assets, the estate must go through the full probate process.

The first step for the full probate process is to file an Application for Letters of Testamentary. This allows whoever qualifies to become the Administrator of the Estate. It also provides the Clerk’s Office with an inventory of all property, bank accounts, stocks and bonds, etc. that the deceased owned at the time of their death.

Once this is complete and filed, a Notice to Creditors must be published in the local newspaper. This has to run and give any creditors that may have a claim to the estate a 90-day period to file any claim for money owed from the estate with the clerk’s office. If a claim is filed and is legitimate, then the estate will pay this claim. If no claims are filed after the 90-day period, anything not filed is waived and the creditor will no longer have a claim.

After the 90-day period expires, a 90-day Inventory is filed with the clerk’s office. This simply updates the clerk and estate file of any change in any of the values of the assets of the estate.

Eventually, after a year is passed, a final accounting is due on the estate. The final accounting shows that each disbursement according to the deceased’s will has been made to the right person and that nothing is left in the estate. Once this is confirmed and the final accounting is filed, the estate is complete. There is also the chance that you could be reimbursed from the assets of the estate for any attorney fee’s you spend to administer the estate.

There are various other options that can come into play when administering an estate and this is just a very basic outline of what has to be done. If you need help with an estate, don’t hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation.