If the decedent leaves assets valued at more than $40,000, the decedent’s estate will be subject to what is known as “full administration” in the Probate Division. This process will probably take over a year from the date of death. In general, a full administration consists of:
- Filing of the initial paperwork with the Probate Division
- Appointment of a Personal Representative who has the duty to administer the estate under court supervision
- Publication of a legal notice giving creditors a time period in which to file claims against the estate
- Collecting the decedent’s assets
- File an initial inventory of the decedent’s assets with the Probate Division
- Pay any debts owed by the estate and settle any disputes
- File a final statement of account with the Probate Division outlining assets, claims, and other expenses paid and the proposed distribution of the remaining assets to the beneficiaries
- Distribute the remaining assets
Independent Administration versus Supervised Administration
Independent Administration – If the will calls for independent administration or the beneficiaries consent to independent administration the probate court will allow for more informal supervision, thus saving time and money.
Supervised Administration – This is a more formal process whereby the probate court must approve many actions of the personal representative who must file annual accountings which are fully reviewed and audited by the Probate Division.
If you need help navigating through the probate process or avoiding probate entirely, Contact Us at the Law Offices of Stephen J. Hoffmann.