Probate: Opening the Estate
Many of the more burdensome tasks of opening an estate such as delivering the Will to the Clerk of Court for probate, placing the advertisement for the Notice to Creditors in the local newspaper, and confirming the assets and their values are handled by the attorney. The attorney depends on the Executor and family members to provide the information needed to begin the estate settlement process. The Notice to Creditors advertisement will appear in the local newspaper once a week for four (4) consecutive weeks. Creditors of the estate will have three (3) months from the date of the first publication to present their claims to the estate. Therefore, the minimum time in which an estate can be settled is three (3) to four (4) months. Please keep in mind, however, that this would be a smaller estate not required to file an inheritance estate tax return. Those estates are generally settled in nine (9) to twelve (12) months.
Next in our Probate series: Probate: Gathering and Safeguarding Assets