The first step in honoring the wishes of a deceased person as expressed in their will is a probate court filing. The execution of a will can begin in New Hampshire as soon as this filing takes place. It often benefits will beneficiaries to initiate the probate process as soon after the death of the testator as possible.
When a person dies who included a will as part of their estate planning process, the probate court in the county of residence will have jurisdiction. The filing can be initiated by whoever has the will in their possession. If an executor exists for the will, he or she will likely do the filing since this task falls under the executor’s list of responsibilities. If someone other than an executor or beneficiary of the will possesses the document, interested parties may be able to legally compel them to move forward with the filing.
Beneficiaries receive the assets allocated to them in the will once the probate process becomes complete. But before a division of assets happens, everything included as part of the estate is inventoried, and any debts owed by the estate are settled. These duties are also the responsibility of the executor.
The amount of time it takes to complete the probate process will vary from case to case. Relevant factors include the size of the estate, the amount of bills to pay and whether anyone intends to contest the will. A small estate that offers few complications may clear probate in a few months. A large estate with many debts to settle or a will that is contested may take more than a year before the probate process is complete.
The execution process for a will is an area of law with which the average person will not possess much experience. It is necessary to complete each step in the process correctly to avoid any delays in the probate process. Individuals who have an interest in the proper execution of a will may experience a smoother process by employing the help of an attorney.