Deed of Living Wills and Probate: How It Works

It is not uncommon for families and individuals to wait years for their WilliamsLegal deceased estates to be distributed. The process has often become so cumbersome that the person responsible for making these important documents was forced to resign. In some instances, the estate has become a liability, and the family does not even want to deal with it. If this is you, there is help.


The first thing to do after the death of the individual is to select an executor. In most cases, this is a lawyer with at least a Masters degree in Business Administration. Even though this is a common name, you should never choose an “in intestate succession” executor. Simply put, the probate court will determine who gets to keep the estate as the executor upon the decedent’s death and not the beneficiary. By the time a deceased estate gets to probate, it might have been bogged down with bureaucracy and paperwork for the better part of several years.


It is possible to select an executor without a college degree, but it is almost never a good idea. Probate court requires that the appointed individual has at least an associate’s degree, so it is usually a good idea to ensure that this person has at least some college training. It is also a good idea to create a list of potential candidates and their educational backgrounds. Often, the closest match to the deceased estate in terms of education and professional experience is someone with a bachelor’s degree, which is a pretty safe bet. If there are no specific requirements, including a master’s degree, consider creating a shortlist based on degrees received and professional experience. For more information about WilliamsLegal deceased estates, click here.


Once you have narrowed down the field to a small handful of candidates, you must contact each candidate individually to discuss their qualifications. At this juncture, one can ask each potential candidate about their prior accomplishments in terms of the deceased estate. In many situations, the best selection will be the one that was closest to the deceased during their lifetime. However, in other situations where skill sets or educational ties to the deceased are less important than suitability for the position of executor, personal interviews are often conducted.


The entire process can take a few months, especially during the litigation phase, so setting realistic expectations early on is important. If possible, review documents and communications from prior audits, and request an interview with the potential candidates. Interviewing applicants may be done by phone, email, fax, or in person, but typically it is done in one to three visits, with each interview lasting about an hour. For more information about WilliamsLegal deceased estates, click here.