Losing a family member or loved one is often the hardest part of someone’s life. While some people might dive into their work to distract themselves from the grief, others might completely shut down. My experience assisting clients with the probate process, coupled with my background in counseling, helps me understand that there is truly no “right” way to process such a huge loss. It also helps me guide our clients through the probate process in a way that works best for them and their specific needs.
The first step to starting the probate process is reaching out to a probate attorney. At this stage in the process, it is helpful to provide the probate attorney with a death certificate and the decedent’s original signed will (if they died with a will). It is also helpful to have a general idea of the estate assets and their approximate value; however, it’s important to note that this is not necessary and can be done later in the probate process.
Gathering this information can seem overwhelming to someone who is struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one, and we do our best to make it easier on our clients by providing a worksheet that collects all the information we need to get started. The worksheet also allows our clients to gather the information on their own time and ask us questions that may come up along the way. After our clients provide us with the information we need to get started, we will review the information and determine the best way to proceed.