The distribution of assets in probate depends on a variety of factors, including the terms of the deceased person’s will, state law, and any outstanding debts or taxes owed by the estate. In general, the following steps are taken to distribute assets in probate:
- Inventory the assets: The executor or administrator of the estate will inventory all of the assets owned by the deceased person at the time of their death.
- Determine the value of the assets: The assets will be appraised or otherwise valued to determine their fair market value.
- Pay outstanding debts and taxes: Any outstanding debts or taxes owed by the estate will be paid using the assets of the estate.
- Distribute assets to heirs or beneficiaries: Once all debts and taxes have been paid, the remaining assets will be distributed to the heirs or beneficiaries according to the terms of the deceased person’s will, or if there is no will, according to state law.
- Close the estate: Once all assets have been distributed and all debts and taxes have been paid, the executor or administrator will file a final accounting with the probate court, and the estate will be closed.
It’s important to note that the probate process can be complicated, and the distribution of assets can be affected by various legal issues and disputes. An experienced probate attorney can help ensure that the distribution of assets is handled properly and in accordance with the law.