Compile a list of potential heirs, such as the decedent’s parents, spouse, children, grandchildren and siblings. Obtain full names, addresses and other contact information for each person.
All of this information is necessary to settle an estate.
The executor must notify known creditors that the estate is going into probate, and publish public notice of the probate case (a newspaper legal notice) so that other creditors may see it.
In addition, the executor (or appointed administrator) is responsible for paying valid claims, such as funeral expenses and legal fees, from estate assets.
Before the estate can be closed, the executor must file a full accounting of the estate’s assets, payments, any income generated by the estate, etc., and how remaining assets are to be distributed.