Life can become very difficult really quickly. One day everything could be fine and the peace is shattered by the death of a spouse, family member or loved one. Even while struggling with grief an individual may find themselves in probate court.
Probate laws help in the distribution of a decedent’s estate to their family members and loved ones. They make sure that the persons listed in the deceased’s will get their part of the inheritance. They also make sure that creditors receive money owed to them as well. The probate process can be very complex. A probate attorney that is familiar with the state’s laws can be one of the administrator’s biggest allies. They will not only be familiar with the law but will also be able to help compile needed information and submit it to the courts within stated guidelines. Individuals can handle the probate of a loved one on their own. However, this is best left for cases that are very simple and with few beneficiaries.
The North Dakota Probate Process
The probate process in North Dakota begins when a petition to open the estate is filed. An administrator is then chosen. If the decedent has a will, then the administrator or executor will already been chosen. If there is no will, then the court will appoint an administrator. This will typically be the spouse of the deceased or an adult child. Intestate statutes will determine how the estate will be divided and distributed.
After an executor is appointed, they will first need to make a complete listing of the decedent’s property and estate. This will give them a good idea of what they have to work with as it concerns paying creditors and beneficiaries.
The Notice of Creditors
A Notice of Creditors in a local newspaper is generally the next step in a North Dakota probate case. Again, a North Dakota probate attorney will know the updated statute and will be able to walk you through the probate wills process. The Notice of Creditors will alert local creditors of the decedent’s death and give them the opportunity to file a claim against their estate. They will be given a certain amount of time to submit their claim.
The administrator will then start to make payments to the creditors and then the beneficiaries. After all the money has been paid off, the next steps are to get the probate discharged and finally, closed out.
Probate Reources- North Dakota
Inheritance Taxes- North Dakota
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