The process for Estate Administration begins when your loved one passes away. Often, the law firm that drafted the person’s will, will produce the will and submit it to the court and mail a copy to the person named executor in the will. If the law firm is not in possession of the original will, whoever is in possession must submit the will along with a petition to the probate court. Assuming the will is uncontested, which means that there is no lawsuit claiming the will is invalid, one of the witnesses needs to submit an affidavit that they signed the will and it is valid. This is not needed if there is already an “attestation clause” from one of the witnesses in the will. After this the will is then admitted into probate. If the will provides for everything to pass to the spouse upon the deceased’s death, then many of the following steps may not be necessary.
After probate is opened and a representative or executor is appointed, the person appointed should apply for increased authority under the Independent Administration of Estates Act. This gives increased authority over the administration of the estate to the executor or court appointed representative without having to obtain court approval for certain actions. It greatly reduces the time and money needed to administer an estate.