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Part II - How does the probate process work?

Notifying Creditors and the Public of Decedent's Death

The next step in the probate process is notifying creditors and the public of decedent's death. This process provides an opportunity to those concerned to object to admitting the will and to the appointment of the personal representative.

A probate lawyer, or the personal representative mails a notice to all legal heirs and beneficiaries named in the will (if there is a will) about the decedent's death and the probate hearing. In California, this notice must also be published in a local newspaper to inform creditors about the hearing and to allow them file a claim against the estate within a specified time period.

Inventorying the Estate Property

Inventorying the estate property is important as it ensures that all property are accounted for. It also helps in determining whether there are sufficient assets to liquidate debts and distribute to beneficiaries.

Typically, the personal representative inventories all assets, both real and personal, that make up the estate so that the value can be determined. If the estate doesn't meet its monetary obligations to both estate creditors and beneficiaries, then based on abatement statutes, the amount received by beneficiaries will be adjusted.

Stay tuned for more on this topic on our subsequent blog.

*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be construed as professional legal advice.

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