My Mom has passed on. She left a will. What is probate all about? Why would I need to probate the will -or not?

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Jann, if your Mom had used an "Elder Law Attorney", that attorney and/or his/her staff can help you file for Probate. The estate will be responsible for any Attorney fees. Usually this is done on an hourly rate instead of a flat rate.

For me, it was worth every penny to use my parent's Elder Law Attorney, as I was so exhausted from helping my parents for many years, that I couldn't think straight.
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Reply to freqflyer

You need to Probate to make sure Moms wishes are carried out.

First there is a waiting period before the Executor can file. Where I live its 11 days. Call before you go to make sure what paperwork is needed. Should be the death certificate and the original will. Have an idea what Moms assets are. Here in NJ under 20k no need for probate. The Executor will get a short certificate that he will be able to use to get to accts and utilities. Its the Executors responsibility to contact the beneficiaries telling them the will is probated. Its the executors responsibility to make sure all bills are paid and creditors notified if there are no assets. This is as far as I have gotten. My Mom has a house that after 4 yrs I cannot sell because of its condition. I will be calling probate to find out how I handle closing probate.
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Reply to JoAnn29

If your mother has assets with banks, investment firms, etc. and even a house - a probate court will need to approve/appoint an executor who can conduct transactions - such as selling the house, withdrawing money and closing accounts legally.

The probate court will provide the legal estate representative or executor with a Letter of Testamentary - which is the “proof” businesses will require in order to release assets to the executor.

Legally, aside from accounts that
list a specific beneficiary - a business, bank - whatever - can not and will not conduct business and likely not even speak with anyone outside of the person who can present the Letter of Testamentary.
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Reply to Rainmom

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