Can Anyone Just Start the Probate Process?

The word In most cases, the estate’s executor starts the probate process. This executor is a personal representative named by the decedent or deceased individual in his or her will to administer the estate of the decedent. The executor is likewise responsible for locating the death certificate and will, as well as notifying relevant individuals such as family members, or entities such as employers, financial organizations, and government agencies about the death.

In most instances, executors work with a Denver probate attorney for dealing with the probate court and figuring out whether or not probate is needed. Probate basically involves various legal procedures to determine the validity of the will and supervise the estate’s distribution.

Other Individuals Who Can Start Probate​

Although it’s usually the job of an executor to start the probate process, any individual with a claim or interest in the deceased individual’s estate could start probate if the executor hasn’t done so. For instance, if the deceased individual owed a significant debt, beneficiaries might not be inclined to initiate probate so the decedent’s creditors would usually step in to initiate the process in an attempt to recoup whatever assets remain.

Additionally, possible beneficiaries might initiate probate if an executor stalls filing for probate, perhaps due to suspicion of stealing from the estate or some other reason. With the absence of a will, however, possible beneficiaries might file for probate under intestacy laws that govern how estates are distributed if the will is missing or nonexistent. In turn, the probate court would take into account the specific circumstances surrounding the case and might designate an executor in place of the one who didn’t fulfill his or her duties.

Getting Legal Help​

Whether you’re an appointed executor or someone who has filed for probate, a probate attorney could help you with actual and potential conflicts while making certain that your rights, interests, and options would be sufficiently addressed. It’s also vital to note that as the initiator of the probate process, you could be held personally responsible for any mistakes made during probate. Getting legal counsel is also very crucial if the deceased died intestate or without a will.