In the tragic case of a loved one passing away, it’s possible the death was so sudden that the person in question did not have a will. You may be interested, also, in selling the estate they left behind; but you can’t do anything with the property until you are the executor. Without a will, it can be difficult to determine who gets what. Here are the four steps for becoming the executor of a will, so you can get to selling that estate in probate.
Step 1: File documents with the clerk of the court.
In the county where the deceased lived, you should file the appropriate documents with the clerk of the court to start your process. Generally, you need a death certificate, names and addresses of possible heirs, and an estimated value of the estate. With this in mind, you’ll probably also have to pay a fee in order to file these documents.
Step 2: Ensure that you are the only executor candidate.
This is the most difficult part; you must convince heirs that you are the sole candidate for executor. Because a court will select an executor based on a ranking system (spouse, spouse’s child, grandchild, sibling, and so forth) you must have these heirs sign a letter which explicitly states that they do not want to be the executor. If you happen to be the closest heir, simply refuse to sign away your executor rights.
Step 3: Attend a probate hearing.
At the hearing, you need to present your signed letters to the court and state your intentions for being executor. In most cases, if everyone with administrative privilege over you stated their desire to be looked over, you will become executor.
Step 4: Acquire a probate bond.
A probate bond ensures the court that you are responsible for a proper process. When the administrator is in possession of the probate estate, they must apply for this insurance policy to prove that they are willing to financially cover any parties who are negatively affected.
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