The executor of an estate has a great deal of responsibility when it comes to probating a deceased individual's estate. One of the responsibilities of the executor is to create and send out a notice of probate. This is a process that notifies others that the estate is in probate.
Publishing Notice of Probate
When an individual passes away and an executor is in charge of going through the probate process, some states require a notice of probate to be published in the newspaper. The executor will publish the notice in the newspaper so that potential creditors of the deceased can file claims with the probate court. Part of the probate process involves paying any creditors of the estate, and the creditors may not know to do so unless they see a probate notice in the paper.
Notice for Beneficiaries
As the executor of estate, it is also your responsibility to send a notice in probate to the beneficiaries of the estate. When an individual creates a will, he specifies exactly who he wants to receive his property. These individuals must be notified in writing by the executor of the estate. The executor includes information such as his address and phone number so that the beneficiaries will know whom to contact. States often have time limits in which this task must be accomplished.
Once you send out the notices of probate, you should file proof that you did so with the local court system. The probate court will have a form that you can fill out that shows you sent out the notices in a timely manner. This way, if one of the beneficiaries says that she did not receive notice, you can prove that you sent it out within the time limit set forth by the probate court.
Shorten Statute of Limitations
In some states, you are not required to file a notice of probate in the newspaper for creditors. However, it can sometimes be to your advantage, by shortening the statute of limitations on the debt. For example, the statute of limitations may be shortened from one or two years down to only a few months. This can speed up the probate process and help you get finished much sooner. If creditors do not file a claim within this statute of limitations, they cannot collect any money from the estate.