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What to know about probate

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2020 | Estate planning, Living wills

When you die, there is a chance that your Delaware estate will need to go through probate. During probate, a judge will determine that your will and the instructions it contains for how to settle your affairs are legitimate. The executor of your estate is the person who is responsible for presenting your will to the court after you pass.

You can name your own executor

If you name an executor in your will, that person will be the one who represents your estate during probate. Alternatively, the judge overseeing your case can appoint someone to represent your estate’s interests during a probate proceeding. Whoever is appointed to fulfill this position will be given permission by the judge to take control of assets that remain inside of the estate.

The executor doesn’t have to act alone

Being an executor can be both difficult and time consuming. Therefore, he or she is allowed to hire accountants, attorneys and other professionals to help settle your affairs. These individuals may be able to help locate assets, notify creditors or defend against claims made by creditors or other interested parties. In some cases, the court itself may offer insight or guidance to the estate representative. Your estate is responsible for paying any professionals who are hired by the executor to help with the case.

As part of your will, you can name the person who will represent your estate during probate. This person may be a friend, family member or any other adult who you trust to carry out your final wishes. It may also be possible to hire an estate planning attorney to act as your executor. In some cases, a probate attorney may help the estate representative settle your affairs in a timely manner.