It is easy to feel overwhelmed after losing a loved one. You have many difficult feelings to process, but you also must fulfill your obligations in settling your loved one’s estate.
The legal processes you must undergo after the passing of a family member can be quite involved, especially if you are pursuing a wrongful death case amidst it all. When it comes time to handle the matter of probate, however, you can be well-prepared by knowing exactly what documents to bring to your first meeting.
What documents does a probate attorney need to see?
When sorting your loved one’s belongings after their passing, one of the first things you should do is find their social security number and report to the Social Security Administration. You should also collect relevant contact information for any potential heirs to your late loved one. In addition to these items, you should also collect the following documents that will help the probate attorney oversee matters efficiently:
- Death certificate
- Will or other estate planning documents
- Financial statements and tax forms
What can I expect during the probate process?
Following initial preparations, the probate process can take several months. The court will carefully verify the authenticity of any estate planning documents left by the deceased. An appointed team or individual will then take inventory of the estate and appraise the value of all belongings and accounts. It will then be possible to distribute assets and close out the estate.
The probate process is hard to manage in the wake of a tragic loss. Even so, you can more quickly grant peace of mind to yourself and the rest of the family by handling matters efficiently and succinctly.