Probate Administration

Probate administration is the process of settling a person’s estate in court. If the decedent had a will, they nominated an “executor” to handle the estate. If there was no will, or if the nominated executor cannot act another individual may be appointed to act as the “administrator” of the estate.

Court supervision means that the process takes a minimum of several months. The executor/administrator must gather up all of the decedent’s assets, deal with any claims for debts, and distribute the assets according to the will, or according to the laws of intestate succession. Along the way, many other things may happen; if the decedent owed real estate it could be sold as part of the probate process.  Someone may contest the terms of the will. A family member may need money to live during the administration of the estate and request a family allowance.

Probate fees for the ordinary tasks in administering an estate are set by statute. They are based on the gross value of the estate. The executor/administrator is entitled to the same statutory fees as the attorney.  If extraordinary services are rendered both the executor/administrator and the attorney may entitled to extraordinary fees.

Probate is a public process and information about the estate is available to the public in the court’s records.