Not a lot of people know to manage an estate when somebody passes away. And as you grieve over the loss of a loved one, you may not want to find legal documents, file paperwork, and take inventory of their assets. Administering probate and estate can be intimidating; however, it is important to understand how these processes work. By having a Ridgeland probate estate administration lawyer by your side, you get access to legal advice and guidance that can help you execute your duties with confidence and without making mistakes. 

Understanding the Probate Process

The probate process involves authenticating a deceased loved one’s will, the designated estate administrator, the names of beneficiaries and heirs, as well as the estate contents that must be distributed to them and creditors. The process is supervised by a court. Depending on the estate’s size and complexity, the process can take around a year. 

What Does Estate Administration Mean?

The administration of an estate refers to the process of representing, managing, inventorying, and disbursing the estate of a person following their passing. This task is executed by the designated administrator as mentioned in the deceased person’s will. 

What Personal Representatives Should Do

As a personal representative of a deceased person, you should consider securing tangible assets early on including artwork, dishes, furniture, and more. When the probate process formally starts, you must determine accurate values of every piece of property before it can be distributed. You won’t be able to fulfill this task when the deceased person’s property is taken by surviving loved ones. So, to avoid this issue, halt all distributions and secure property early on. 

In addition, you should allow yourself and your loved ones some time to grieve. But you must consider filing the will for probate soon following your loved one’s passing, so you do not draw out the entire process. Also, you must notify the Social Security Administration within one month of death. As you take your time to grieve, you should not risk extra stress and costs associated with extended delays. 

Finally, you must meet with a probate administration lawyer who can review the necessary steps to administer the estate. Ensure you bring important information regarding your loved one’s assets, debts, and taxes. Consulting with an attorney can determine whether the probate process is necessary. Also, the lawyer can evaluate if contentions or issues are possible and provide you with peace of mind.