Many clients want to start the Probate process as soon as possible in the most cost effective manner. In order to accomplish these goals below is a list of documents you should give your probate attorney as soon as possible.
This includes the original Last Will & Testament of the decedent, the certified death certificate, Trust Agreement (if one exists), and pre marital agreement (if one exists). The Last Will & Testament is filed with the Clerk of Court within ten days of the notification of the death. Your attorney can ensure the filing of the original Will. As a way to cut costs, it is always cheaper to provide your attorney with original death certificates as compared with the attorney ordering them from Vital statistics themselves.
Bring the attorney copies of the last three years tax returns of the decedent. This aids in ascertaining the assets that need to be administered through the estate, as well as preparing the final tax return.
Invoices and Bills
All known and ascertainable creditors need to be notified of the decedent's death. Bring copies of all invoices and bills in the decedent's name. An easy way to find these statements is by going through the mail of the decedent.
Bring a list of the names, addresses, social security numbers, and birth dates of all individuals named in the decedent's Last Will & Testament. The sooner you get this information to your attorney the sooner your Probate documents can be prepared. Besides saving time, it is cost effective so that the attorney does not charge you for contacting each individual to collect this information.
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The more information you can provide your Probate attorney at the initial meeting the sooner and cheaper the Probate can be completed.
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