Probate

Probate

When someone dies without a Living Trust that identifies how his/her estate is to be distributed, the estate goes into Probate. It’s a court-supervised process that begins with naming an Administrator to manage the process. While Probate can sound daunting, it is actually a very methodical process. QP Services assists the Administrator through each step of the Probate process.

Administrator Gains Access to Decedent’s Records to Understand Financial Landscape

The Administrator:

  • Manages the deceased person’s estate; depending on its complexity, this will take at least several months. If the estate is complex, it can take several years.
  • Assesses the value of the estate, identifying the extent of debt and paying creditors.
  • Oversees allocation of assets, which may include real estate, securities or other property. If there are outstanding debts, but most of the estate is tied up in real estate, high-value artwork or other collections, they likely will have to be appraised and sold to generate cash to pay creditors.

When all debts have been satisfied and the estate is in a condition to be closed, a petition is prepared and filed with the court to distribute the estate among the deceased person’s heirs.

Once the court has approved the Probate, the Administrator will be able to gain access to all of the decedent’s records to fully understand the financial landscape, including bank statements, savings accounts and income tax returns.

As part of the court-mandated process, Administrators are required to keep careful records of all transactions and valuations. During Probate, the deceased’s estate becomes a separate tax entity, so the Administrator must obtain a federal identification number and open a bank account in the name of the estate, from which to pay creditors. It is also necessary to file the estate’s tax return and a final individual tax return.

The Probate Process

It can be confusing, but we’re here to help. Ask us because we are here to help.

1 | Become Personal Representative of the Estate
  • QP Services will help with all of the procedural steps needed to get you appointed as representative of the state.
  • The Probate Examiner will release Probate Notes. We’ll review them together to see if the court has any questions about your petition.
  • At the hearing, the judge will appoint you as the Personal Representative.
2 | Estate Administration: Inventory Assets
  • Obtain certified copies of court documents for banks.
  • Obtains a federal tax ID number.
  • Prepares Inventory and Appraisal documents and sends to the court-appointed appraiser.
  • If it’s necessary to sell real estate, QP Services will prepare and serve the required Notice of Proposed Action.
3 | Deal with Debts; Prepare & File Taxes
  • Sends notice of death to required state and county entities.
  • QP Services has relationships with many probate accountants.
  • We will refer you to a qualified provider for any necessary fiduciary tax returns and the Final Accounting.
4 | Close It Up: Report & Distribute
  • QP Services will prepare the Report and Petition for Final Distribution, as required to close Probate.
  • The court issues an order concluding the estate, authorizing the distribution of assets and payments of fees.

QP Services Has One Flat Fee Probate

There is sometimes a misunderstanding that Probate requires the services of an attorney, but if your Probate is uncontested—if no one in your family is challenging the normal process of valuing assets, identifying debts and settling the estate accordingly–then we can assist you and save a significant amount of money. While attorneys price Probate by their hourly fees or a percentage of the estate’s value, we have created a simple new pricing plan–one flat fee. No surprises, no hidden costs for administrative fees or other add-ons.

Avoid Probate by Creating a Living Trust

Probate rarely benefits beneficiaries; it can be expensive and time-consuming, a difficult burden at a time when families are already dealing with loss and grief. Those who value their privacy should also be aware that Probate means an estate becomes a matter of public record. We encourage everyone to create a Living Trust, identifying precisely how your assets will be distributed among your loved ones. A Living Trust is an important part of life planning and is one of the most thoughtful things you can do for your family.